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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate of 1998
Annual Review:
Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory

National Climatic Data Center

January 4,1999

El Niño Contributes to Records at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory

Robert Skilling, National Weather Service, Michael Iacono, Blue Hill Observatory

    The year 1998 was the warmest and wettest ever recorded in 114 years at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton Massachusetts. The annual mean temperature of 50.8 degrees easily surpassed the previous record of 50.5 which occurred in 1953. In addition, the winter of 1997-1998 was the warmest winter ever recorded at B.H.O. since records began in 1885. It also featured very little snow with the February snowfall total of 1.0 inches equaling the second lowest February total on record.

    Probably the most amazing record set during the year was a high temperature of 89 degrees on March 31st. This reading not only exceeded the old March high temperature record of 85 degrees set in 1945, but surpassed a reading of 86 degrees set just a few days earlier on March 28th. The daily record high temperature for March 31st was broken by 20 degrees! Another remarkable high temperature occurred on December 7th when the thermometer on top of the Great Blue Hill reached 74 degrees.

    Monthly mean temperatures averaged above the 30-year normal during each month with the exception of June. Seven months had departures of more than 2.5 degrees and four months were more that 3.5 degrees above normal. Both December and February were the second warmest on record with January, February and December each averaging 6 degrees above normal.

    1998 was also the wettest year on record with 71.00 inches measured at B.H.O.

    The previous record of 69.36 was set in 1996. Each of the first six months of the year had well above normal precipitation, but June broke all records. A total of 17.32 inches exceeded the previous June record of 13.73 inches in 1982 and became the 2nd wettest of any month on record. Only August, 1995, with 18.78 inches had more rainfall.

    Below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures in November and December delayed the first appearance of snowfall this season. The trace of snow observed on December 11, 1998 was the latest occurrence of the first trace of snow on record and first measurable snow on December 22nd was the third latest in 114 winter seasons at B.H.O.

    All in all 1998 was a remarkable year!

For further information, contact:

    Robert Skilling
    Blue Hill Observatory
    Telephone: 617-696-1014
    fax: 802-728-4239
    Michael Iacono
    Weekend Observer
    Blue Hill Observatory
    Telephone: 617-696-1014
    fax: 802-728-4239

NCDC / Climate Research / Climate of 1998 / Annual / Blue Hill /Search / Help
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