This year started on a chilly note with January temperatures that were colder than average. Overall, the month was also drier than normal, but we ended up seeing near-average snowfall totals thanks to one storm that dropped 1.8 inches of snow at McGhee-Tyson Airport.
February continued the wintry trend with above-average snowfall and icy conditions that put the freeze on many Valentine’s Day plans. Dreary conditions helped to keep temperatures near-average.
Winter came to an abrupt end with the beginning of Meteorological Spring. Knoxville recorded three days with highs in the 80s during the month of March and the early warm spell caused trees and flowers to bloom ahead of schedule.
The above average temperatures continued into April and so did the dry weather. Both March and April received only about half of their normal rainfall. Overall, 2016 experienced the ninth warmest spring on record.
Rainfall totals were near average during the month of May, but the warm and dry spring season was just the beginning of a trend that would last into summer.
While we didn’t see many records set during the summer months, the season did end up as the second warmest on record. We had 76 days with highs in the 90s, which tied 2016 for third place in the record books for years with the most 90 degree days.
A series of strong storms rolled through at the beginning of July causing damage, but also widespread rains. Summer rain totals were near average, but the proverbial faucet shut off around mid-July, a trend that would continue into Meteorological Fall.
We recorded four days with measurable rain in September at McGhee-Tyson Airport and only two days in October.
Our yearly rainfall deficit worsened and so did our drought. Unseasonably warm temperatures only enhanced the effects of the dry conditions and eventually, wildfires began to develop. We were on track to have the driest fall on record, and then came the rains during the final week of November. Not only did the rain help with the wildfires and drought conditions, but it signaled a change in the overall weather pattern.
Instead of being warm and dry, the weather has been much more seasonable during the month of December.