2016 A Year In Weather

2016 will be remembered for its warm temperatures, drought, and lack of snow.   One of the strongest El Nino’s on record was responsible for below normal snowfall and warm winter temperatures.

You’d never know that though the first week in January.  An arctic air mass brought single digit temperatures which produced good looking photos of arctic sea smoke.
Just one week later, it was a thunderstorm that made weather headlines.  Not just any thunderstorm though, “thundersnow” made an appearance in Portland  which was the highlight of my winter. Apparently, it helped to dress as
“thundersnow” the previous Halloween…
One of the more impressive Norlun trough’s we’ve had over the years set up Saturday morning February 13th.  I recall Monhegan Island and Vinalhaven picking up around a foot while most of the area received less than an inch.

Thunderstorms were again leading headlines in late February.  I like to joke with Gregg Lagerquist  about the rain and wind storm that affect our area on his birthday (February 25th) in 2010. More Lagerquist birthday storms were with us again this year and wind damage was again the big problem.
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In spite of the rain and wind, February 2016 was 8″ above normal in snowfall in Portland.  Thunderstorms and hail moved back into the picture on St Patrick’s Day.  Check out the size of this hail.
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On March 24th, freezing rain made travel slippery,  but these photos sure are beautiful.
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Wild fires burning in Alberta Canada produced amazing sunsets in mid May.  This one was on May 12th.
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CBS 13 Meteorologist Adam Epstein made this sunrise time lapse the morning of May 13th.

June 7th marked the beginning of severe weather season.  Huge hail was reported all over Central Maine with the largest and most damage in Readfield.
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Flooding was the problem the week leading into the July 4th holiday.  A very localized 8+ inches of rain fell in Somerset County.  Parlin Pond and surrounding streams flooded, washing out an important bridge on Route 201.  It resulted in a 100 mile detour.
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The years first tornado warnings were issued on the afternoon of July 18th.  The only touchdown occurred in Pittsburg New Hampshire.  A Macroburst with winds estimated 80 to 90 mph blew through the town of St. Albans.
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Heat and continued dry weather lead headlines into August.  Portland reached 99 degrees on the 12th.  It amazed me to see the temperature drop 13 degrees in only 19 minutes that afternoon.  99 was the hottest temp in the city of Portland in 1846 days. It was hot enough to bake cookies on the dash.
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September was hot and dry again and drought continued at severe limits across parts of Maine.
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In spite of the drought, foliage season was one of the best in recent memory.
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Luckily the rain came during the month of October.  Over 4″ of rain fell in the bucket the night of October 21st through 22nd.  Flash Flood Warnings were issued that night.
In October, 8.39 inches fell at the Jetport, and the month ended up 3.4″ above normal in rainfall. Fall as a whole ended normal in rainfall, which was great because the ground would freeze early in December.

Portland’s average first snowfall is December 4th. We came close this year with the first inch accumulating on the 5th.


4 inches of snow accumulated on the 12th and another 4.5 inches fell on the 17th.  Over 10 inches of snow accumulated at the Portland Jetport during the month of December.  It’s the first time we did that in three years. Luckily we had one carrot left in the fridge for this guy.

The biggest story this December was most likely the extreme cold that made an appearance during the middle of the month. The low on December 16th was -3 degrees in Portland.  That was the coldest low that early in the season since December 8th 1989.  Furthermore, the high on the 16th was 9 degrees.  That’s the coldest daytime high that early in the season since 1977.    Winds gusting to 45 mph made for bitter wind chills dipping to 20 to 30 degrees below zero. It was early in the season to experience conditions like that.

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Luckily temperatures  modified just in time for Santa to come to town. Later that week though, the explosive development of a storm tracking through the gulf of Maine might have caught your attention.  It was responsible for dumping  half foot of snow at the coast and over two feet just 20 miles away.

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From all of us here at CBS 13 and Fox 23, we wish you a wonderful year of weather in 2017.

Charlie Lopresti

About Charlie Lopresti

Charlie makes up the "Weather Part" of CBS News 13s evening edition. A native New Englander, he grew up enjoying the area's exciting and sometimes wild weather.