Winter 2013-14: The 34th Coldest for Contiguous U.S.

The winter of 2013-14 has been long and cold for many parts of the United States. For the nation as a whole, it was our coldest winter since 2009-10, but not a record breaker.

According to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, this meteorological winter (Dec-Feb) was the 34th coldest on record for the contiguous U.S.  With an average temperature of 31.3°F, the country was 1°F below its long-term norm.

While the Northeast and Midwest experienced extended bouts of frigid temperatures and abundant snow, the West was unusually warm and dry.  This difference, produced by a highly amplified jet stream, balanced out the national average.  Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that even though this winter was among the top ten coldest for a few mid-western states, none posted an all time record cold season.  California, by contrast, experienced its warmest winter on record.