2008 Weather in Review

By: Andrew Switzer
By: Andrew Switzer

As always in Kansas, 2008 was an interesting year as far as weather goes.  We had our share of everything from snow storms to severe weather (which occurred nearly every Thursday from April through June), flooding rains to dry periods, and hot and cold temperatures swings....2008 had it all.  I wanted to share a couple of notes about 2008 that I thought would be of interest to you. 

Our warmest temperature was 101 on August 4th and our coldest was -6 on January 19th.

We officially received 38.22" of precipitation which is 2.58" above average.

We had 20.9 inches of snow...1.2 inches above average

Our Highest wind gust was 61mph on April 10th.

The sky was fair on 251 days, partly cloudy on 75 days, and cloudy on 40 days

It snowed on 11 days, and we had thunderstorms on 64 days.

The National Weather Service in Topeka wrote up a short summary of the year and the following is what they had to say:

REMARKS...

2008 WAS SLIGHTLY COOLER AND WETTER THAN NORMAL FOR TOPEKA.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING...COMPARING TO ROUGHLY 120 YEARS OF PREVIOUS
WEATHER RECORDS...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR THE YEAR WAS THE 33RD
COOLEST...THE COOLEST SINCE 1997...AND COINCIDENTLY THE 33RD WETTEST
ON RECORD. SNOWFALL WAS VERY NEAR NORMAL.

THE COOLNESS OF THE YEAR WAS EXPERIENCED OVER PERIODS OF VARYING
LENGTH. HIGH TEMPERATURES ON DECEMBER 15TH AND 21ST REACHED ONLY 12
DEGREES...WHICH WERE THE COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURES SINCE DECEMBER OF
2005. NO DAILY RECORD LOWS WERE SET IN 2008...BUT THE HIGH
TEMPERATURE OF 64 DEGREES ON SEPTEMBER 8TH WAS THE COLDEST HIGH EVER
RECORDED ON THAT DAY. FROM A MONTHLY AND SEASONAL VIEWPOINT...THE
FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL PERIOD WAS THE 11TH COOLEST SUCH
PERIOD...WITH APRIL COMING IN AS THE 21ST COOLEST APRIL ON RECORD.
THIS PROLONGED COOL PERIOD RETARDED CROP GROWTH DURING THE SPRING.
HIGH SUMMERTIME HEAT BUILT IN BRIEFLY IN EARLY AUGUST...BUT THAT
MONTH WAS COOLER THAN NORMAL AS WELL...WITH THE MERCURY FAILING TO
RISE BEYOND THE 80S FOR 16 STRAIGHT DAYS. THE NOVEMBER 1ST THROUGH
5TH PERIOD WAS THE WARMEST ON RECORD...WHILE NOVEMBER 8TH THROUGH
9TH WAS THE EIGHTH COLDEST ON RECORD. WHEN FACTORING IN WIND
CHILL...APPARENT TEMPERATURES DROPPED NEARLY 60 DEGREES FROM JANUARY
28TH TO 29TH...AND NEARLY 65 DEGREES IN 12 HOURS ON DECEMBER 14TH.
OVER AN HOURS TIME...TEMPERATURES DROPPED 22 DEGREES ON MARCH
2ND...AND 18 DEGREES ON DECEMBER 14TH. A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS
SET ON DECEMBER 26TH...AND WARMEST MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE
SET ON JANUARY 28TH AND DECEMBER 13TH.

THREE DISSIPATING HURRICANES...DOLLY...GUSTOV...AND IKE...MADE
THEIR WAY THROUGH NORTHEAST KANSAS IN THE SUMMER AND
FALL...CONTRIBUTING TO COOLER TEMPERATURES AND APPROXIMATELY 10
PERCENT OF THE YEARS TOTAL RAINFALL. RECORDS FOR THE MOST RAINFALL
IN A SPECIFIC DAY WERE SET ON FEBRUARY 5TH AND MARCH 2ND...AND TIED
ON DECEMBER 27TH. IN ADDITION TO TEMPERATURES...AUGUST WAS ALSO
NOTABLE FOR ITS LACK OF PRECIPITATION. IT CAME IN AS THE 20TH
WETTEST SUCH MONTH...WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION FALLING ON ONLY
THREE DAYS OF THE MONTH...WHICH TIED FOR THE LEAST NUMBER OF DAYS.
PRECIPITATION FOR SEVERAL MONTHS WAS ABOVE NORMAL...WITH FEBRUARY
BEING THE FIFTH WETTEST...SEPTEMBER THE 19TH WETTEST...JUNE THE 22ND
WETTEST...AND OCTOBER THE 26TH WETTEST.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS MADE A FEW PASSES ACROSS THE CITY THIS YEAR.
WINDS IN THE 58 TO 63 MPH RANGE WERE REPORTED ON APRIL 10TH...APRIL
23RD...MAY 2ND...JUNE 2ND...AND JUNE 19TH. SMALL AMOUNTS OF HAIL UP
TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER FELL ON SEPTEMBER 8TH...WITH HAIL AROUND ONE
INCH IN DIAMETER FALLING ON MAY 10TH...JUNE 8TH...AND JUNE 12TH.
HEAVY RAINFALL OF NEARLY 1.75 INCHES FELL IN ABOUT AN HOURS TIME IN
WEST TOPEKA ON JUNE 2ND...AND MINOR FLASH FLOODING RESULTED. FLASH
FLOODING ALSO OCCURRED ON JUNE 12TH...INCLUDING MINOR FLOODING OF
THE SHUNGANUNGA CREEK. SEVERAL WATER RESCUES WERE REQUIRED DUE TO
THIS FLOODING.

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So what are your thoughts as you look back on the weather of 2008?  What do you remember most?

My biggest memory of 2008 was the covering the tornado that ripped through Chapman and Manhattan. 

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