2012: one of warmest years on record - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

2012: one of warmest years on record

Posted: Updated:
2012 was one of the warmer years for the region according to new preliminary numbers being tallied by meteorologists and climatologists.  Precipitation for the region was highly variable ranging from slightly above normal to slightly below normal. 

New National Weather Service numbers show  2012 as the second warmest year on record for both Elkins and Beckley.  Elkins average temperature for 2012 was 52.7 degrees while the normal annual temperature is 50.  The warmest year on record was 1921 when the average was 53.3 degrees.  

In Beckley the average temperature for 2012 was 54.5 degrees while the normal annual temperature is 51.5 degrees.  The warmest year on record was in 1931 when the average hit 55.6 degrees.  

In Charleston the average temperature for 2012 was 57.8 degrees which is 2.1 degrees above the normal annual temperature.  Huntington's average temperature for 2012 was 57.7 degrees which is 2 degrees above the normal annual temperature.  However, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Batty, neither number falls in the top 10 hottest years for either Charleston or Huntington.

In Bluefield the average temperature for 2012 was 56.8 degrees which is noted also as the second hottest year on record.

The Stormtracker meteorologists also tallied numbers from the National Weather Service daily climate reports and find that Charleston-Huntington were slightly below the normal amount of precipitation for a year while Beckley-Bluefield were slightly above normal.  Precipitation totals are calculated in water only, so snow totals are added in as liquid equivalent.  Snow totals are calculated separately across the entire snow season and won't be available until the coming spring.  

The precipitation numbers for the year 2012 for a few local reporting stations are as follows:

-Charleston normal precipitation for a year: 44.03." 2012 total: 41.48" which is 2.55" below normal. 
-Huntington normal precipitation for a year: 42.59." 2012 total: 41.11" which is 1.48" below normal. 
-Beckley normal precipitation for a year: 41.49."  2012 total: 44.37" which is 3.18" above normal. 
-Bluefield normal precipitation for a year: 39.63." 2012 total: 43.55" which is 3.92" above normal.

Bluefield did experience it's 12th wettest year on record.  The final Drought Monitor of 2012 listed only the areas from Beckley to Lewisburg to Bluefield to Elkins as "Abnormally Dry" compared to normal amounts of moisture in the soil for the rest of West Virginia despite previously running Abnormally Dry to Moderate Drought during the summer months.  

The normal range is traditionally calculated on a 30 year basis and is currently using data from 1980 to 2010.