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2021 Recap: Weather highlights and stats for the Southern Tier

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 5:30pm Newscast.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 12:17 PM EST
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(WBNG) -- From record-breaking rainfall to anomalously warm temperatures, Mother Nature brought a little bit of everything to the region in 2021. The preliminary numbers are in so let’s take a look back and break down some of the data and key highlights. For this analysis, all of the weather data was observed at our local climate site for the region which is located at the Greater Binghamton Airport.

Starting with the extremes for 2021, nothing out of the ordinary. The warmest day was in June when temperatures topped out at 91°F. On the flip side, the coldest temperature record was 2°F.

The warmest, coldest, wettest, and snowiest 48-hour period recorded in 2021
The warmest, coldest, wettest, and snowiest 48-hour period recorded in 2021(WBNG)

There were no crazy snowstorms in the 2021 calendar year either.

However, it was full of nuisance storms dropping a few inches here and there. Binghamton’s largest two-day snowfall was 7.6″ back on Feb. 1 to 2. Our 40-inch snowstorm does not count in the recap because it was in Dec. 2020.

Where the stats start to get interesting is when we look at the year as a whole. With regards to temperature, 2021 finished as the fifth warmest year on record since 1951!

2021 slides into fifth place right behind 2020.
2021 slides into fifth place right behind 2020.(WBNG)

Last year, we would end up slotting in right behind 2020. A warming trend is also prevalent on this list. Nine of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 30 years.

The Southern Tier was no stranger to precipitation in 2021 either and that is reflected in the annual totals. Almost 52 inches of precipitation was observed in Binghamton with much of it from heavy rainfall events. On average Binghamton should record 42.02 inches.

It rained...a lot to say the least.
It rained...a lot to say the least.(WBNG)

The only years to finish with more precipitation are 2011 and 2018. 2011 is head and shoulders above the rest in part because of Lee.

Thirteen days with an inch or more of precipitation ties for the third most all-time.
Thirteen days with an inch or more of precipitation ties for the third most all-time.(WBNG)

The most interesting data point is when we take a look at the extreme rainfall events observed. By definition, an extreme precipitation event is when an inch or more of liquid precipitation can be measured in a 24-hour period. 2021 had thirteen extreme precipitation events!

The majority of the top eight years however are within the last 20 years. This demonstrates the correlation between an increase in temperatures and an increase in precipitation. For every 1°C that the atmosphere warms, it is able to hold 7% more water.

Switching to a few of the weather highlights from 2021, we start with a snowy second half to the Meteorological Winter.

Most of January and February brought snow to the region.
Most of January and February brought snow to the region.(WBNG)

From mid-January through February, snow was observed on 39 of 46 days totaling 42.2 inches.

The big story in the summer months was all the rainfall. July alone had 9.82 inches of rain as round after round battered the Southern Tier. Many locations had to deal with flash flooding constantly.

Almost 10 inches of rain fell in July alone.
Almost 10 inches of rain fell in July alone.(WBNG)

Wrapping things up, 2021 came to a close with a fairly quiet December. The Southern Tier experienced mild temperatures with a few rainy days. At the end of the month, all of those warm days tallied up to be one of the warmest Binghamton has observed since 1951.

December or mid-March?
December or mid-March?(WBNG)

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