Is This The Coldest Time of the Year Here In The Borderland?
Winter Officially Starts This Weekend!
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 — Yes, the official kickoff for winter in the Borderland is this Saturday, December 21st at 10:11 A.M.. MST. We have already seen our share of chilly days so far this season, but the high temperature will approach the 70º mark on Thursday! No worries, there is an upper level area of low pressure and a Pacific cold front will cool us down below normal late Friday into Saturday, just in time for the “winter solstice”!
When is the coldest time of the year here in the Borderland?
According to our local National Weather Service, who has been keeping weather records since the late 1800’s, we have already entered the season of the coldest temperatures.
The 30 year average High for December is 57.1º and the average low is 32.5º. The Average High for January is 57.7 and the average low is 32.5º. The average high for February jumps up to 63.1º and the low a bit to 37.1º.
The end of February warms a bit because of the increasing wind speeds as we traditionally start our “windy season”.
Many of us remember the Arctic Cold snap back at the beginning of February of 2011. El Paso and much of the Borderland spent 4 morning’s in a row with below 0º low temperatures. The record low maximum was on Feb 2nd, 2011 of only 15º that day.
Here are the all time cold temperature records since 1879 from the El Paso National Weather Service;
(Image- National Weather Service El Paso, Santa Teresa, NM -http://www.srh.noaa.gov/elp/ )
As you can see in this chart on average we are usually safe for our last freeze by March 19th. We are not out of the woods though as our latest record freeze was May 2nd, 1967!
In future “Weather Talk” blogs I will talk about cold weather safety, but I have already mentioned a few tips in my “What is Wind Chill”? blog;
“the best way to avoid “wind chilled” hypothermia is to wear a hat, because half of your body heat can be lost from your head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Try to stay dry and out of the wind.”
Compared to our hot summer extremes, to the rest of the region and the country, we really do not have it that bad when it comes to the cold days of late fall and winter. Plus, we only get a few months to wear our warm, good looking winter gear!
(Arctic Blast Image-Chuck DeBroder-KTSM)