Weather Summary 2003
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January started the year very wet and cloudy, then turned very cold and dry. The temperatures averaged 24.1 degrees, 4.8 degrees per day below normal. Maximum temperature was 45 degrees on January 1st and a minimum temperature of -0.05 degrees was recorded on the 28th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 31.5 degrees, 7.0 degrees below the norm and 11 degrees below January 2002. Evening temperatures averaged 16.8 degrees, 2.7 degrees below norm and 11.1 degrees below January 2002. There were eighteen days with day-time temperatures below 32 degrees, which is 10 days more then the monthly average. This was the 3rd coldest January in the past 20 years in East Wareham. Evening temperatures were under 30 degrees every night with the exception of January 1st.
Precipitation totaled 3.14 inches. This is 1.16 inches below normal. We had measurable precipitation on 12 days. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.37 inches on the 4th. There were three days with snowfall totaling 4.38 inches of snow, the largest snowfall was 2.30 inches on the 8th of January.
Sunshine totaled 52% of the possible sunshine hours, 6 points above the norm.
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February was wet, cold and snowy with average sunshine. One new record was set this month for total snowfall in one storm. The temperatures averaged 24.9 degrees, 4.2 degrees per day below normal. Maximum temperature was 51 degrees on the 4th and a minimum temperature of -3.0 degrees was recorded on the 13th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 32.8 degrees, 5.9 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 17.0 degrees, 2.4 degrees below the norm. There were 15 days where the maximum temperature was 32 degrees or below, nine days more than average. All but three nights in February had temperatures below 32 degrees during the overnight hours, seven of those nights were in the single numbers and 2 nights were below zero degrees.
Sunshine totaled 51% of the possible sunshine hours, 1 point over the norm.
Precipitation totaled 5.60 inches. This is 2.06 inches above normal. We had measurable precipitation on 13 days. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.82 inches on the 22nd. There were two days with measurable snowfall totaling 28.0 inches, 20.8 inches above normal. This gives February 2003 the second largest total snowfall on record for East Wareham, surpassed only by the 31.0 inches in 1978. The greatest snowfall for one storm came on the 17th with 17.0 inches. This set a new record for East Wareham, surpassing 1978 record of 16.2 inches. There also were five day with flurries but no accumulation.
The official winter in Boston, (Dec. 2002 - Feb. 2003) averaged 27.9 degrees, 3.6 degrees below normal. This is 10.0 degrees colder than last winter and the coldest winter since 1993 -1994. Boston seasonal snowfall was 56.9 inches, 25.5 above normal. Sunshine was 52%, 5 points above normal.
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March weather was cold, wet and sunny, but had below normal temperatures, and above normal rainfall and sunshine. The month also had above average snowfall. The temperatures averaged 34.6 degrees, 1.5 degree per day below normal. Maximum temperature was 68 degrees on the 17th, and a minimum temperature of 4 degrees was recorded on the 4th and 7th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 44.4 degrees, 0.6 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 24.7 degrees, 2.5 degrees below the norm. There was heavy fog recorded on 9 days this month.
Precipitation totaled 7.21 inches. This is 2.41 inches above normal. We had measurable precipitation on 13 days, 4 more then average. Rainfall for year to date is 15.95 inches, 3.31 inches above average. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 2.47 inches on the 30th. There was three day with snowfall; the largest 24-hour snowfall was recorded on the 7th with 5.25 inches. The snowfall for the season has totaled 48.13 inches this is 21.13 inches above average, compared to last year at this time when we were 21.85 inches below average.
Sunshine totaled 55% of the possible sunshine hours, 7 points over the norm. There were no days with 100% sunshine.
PRELIMINARY KEEPING QUALITY FORECAST As of April 1, there are 2 points out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality in the 2003 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The two points were awarded for March sunshine hours. Points in this range normally predict a POOR TO FAIR keeping quality. However, the points missed (4) for low sunshine in the previous year is somewhat suspect as described below. The sunshine points relate to the effect of sunshine in the previous year on the size of that crop. Low sunshine equals low crop and low crop relates to better quality the next year. So even though we didn't get the low sunshine points, the low crops in 2002 should be a favorable indicator for keeping quality in 2003. In addition, we narrowly missed getting one point for precipitation in March (had it not rained more than three inches the final weekend) and two points for temperature in March (missed by 0.7 degrees). Taking all of these factors, and my experience, into account, I am setting the preliminary keeping quality forecast at FAIR TO GOOD. The parameter I struggle with each year is the sunshine hours from the previous growing season. These records were formerly maintained at Logan Airport and are now maintained at Blue Hill Observatory where conditions are drastically different. The threshold figure used for nearly 50 years was the one from Logan (2558 hours -- 30 year average) and the average figure at Blue Hill is only 2270 hours. In addition, the sunshine at Blue Hill is less variable from year to year, making it problematic for calculating a predictor which is based on deviation from the average.
I have indicated how badly the parameters involved in this forecast need to be evaluated, and with a two-year grant from the USDA-CSREES Pest Management Alternatives Program, we will be doing just that this summer. The final keeping quality forecast will be issued in early June, using data from April and May. It is possible that the forecast may be elevated above good, should things work in our favor (cool and dry). This should be a normal growing season, with three fungicide applications at middle rates adequate for fruit rot control in most situations. Should you have a bed that had excessive rot or a very large crop in 2002, suffered severe drought stress in the past two years, or has leaf drop this spring, you should not reduce your fungicide sprays. (Frank Caruso)
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April was cold and wet. The temperatures averaged 40.6 degrees, which is 4.5 degrees below normal. Maximum temperature was 74 degrees on the 29th and a minimum temperature of 22 degrees was recorded on the 1st. Daytime high temperatures averaged 48.0 degrees, 7.1 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 33.2 degrees, 3.1 degrees below the norm.
Precipitation totaled 6.79 inches for the month of April. This is 2.51 inches above normal. We had measurable precipitation on 15 days. There was measurable rain on the first 12 days of the month and then a 10 day dry spell. The largest 24-hour rainfall came on the 25th, with 2.66 inches. We are 5.82 inches above the norm for the year-to-date rainfall.
The rainfall in April was 0.09 inches above the requirement to gain points for the 2003 keeping quality forecast. The temperature, as cool as it was, averaged out 0.2 degrees above the requirement to permit adding points to the keeping quality forecast. We will need a cool, dry May to help improve the keeping quality.
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May was wet, cold and cloudy. The temperatures averaged 51.9 degrees, which is 4.0 degrees below normal. This was the coldest May since 1967 and the 3rd coldest May in our records here in East Wareham since 1926. Maximum temperature was 78 degrees on the 19th and a minimum temperature of 36 degrees was recorded on the 28th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 61.8 degrees, 4.1 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 41.4 degrees, 3.4 degrees above the norm.
Precipitation totaled 2.38 inches for the month of May. This is 1.07 inches below normal. We had measurable precipitation on twelve days. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.42 inches on the 24th. We have recorded 25.12 inches of rainfall for the year to date, which is 4.75 inches above normal.
Sunshine totaled 35% of the possible sunshine hours, 17 points above the norm. This was the 4th lowest sunshine for May at the Blue Hill Observatory.
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June was cool and wet. The temperatures averaged 63.0 degrees, which is 1.7 degrees below normal. Maximum temperature was 90 degrees on the 26th and a minimum temperature of 42 degrees was recorded on the 17th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 70.0 degrees, 4.3 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 56.0 degrees, 1.0 degrees above the norm. No temperature records were set.
Precipitation totaled 5.45 inches for the month of June. This is 2.19 inches above normal. We had measurable precipitation on fifteen days. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.18 inches on the 23rd. Precipitation fell mostly in the first two-thirds of the month, giving us a one dry week at the end of the month. Year-to-date, we have recorded 30.57 inches of rainfall, which is 6.94 inches above normal.
Sunshine totaled 42% of the possible sunshine hours, 13 points below the norm. June followed a very cloudy May. The two months averaged only 39% of possible sunshine, just 2 points over the record low sunshine of 37%, set in 1947.
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July averaged out warm and dry. The temperatures averaged 72.0 degrees, which is 1.0 degree below normal. This is the same average temperature as July 2002. Maximum temperature was 90 degrees on the 6th. A minimum temperature of 56 degrees was recorded on the 31st. Daytime high temperatures averaged 79.7 degrees, 1.1 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 64.2 degrees, 3 degrees above the norm. Compared to 2002, the day time temperatures were about 2 degrees cooler and the night time temperatures were about 2 degrees warmer. The second week in July was very damp and foggy, with five out seven days with heavy fog and 1.13 inches of rain.
Precipitation totaled 2.15 inches for the month of July; this is 0.73 inches below normal. This gives a year-to-date total rainfall of 32.72 inches, 6.21 inches above average and 6.45 inches above this time in 2002. We had measurable precipitation (0.10 or more rain) on six days, which is one more then average for July. There were also six days with a trace to 0.10 inches of rain. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 0.90 inches on the 12th. Precipitation was scattered and light over the month, except for the heavy rain on the 12th.
Sunshine totaled 60% of the possible sunshine hours, 3 points above the norm.
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August was very warm with low rainfall. The temperatures averaged 73.5 degrees, which is 3.7 degrees above normal. Maximum temperature was 88 degrees on the 14th. A minimum temperature of 52 degrees was recorded on the 31st. Daytime high temperatures averaged 81.0 degrees, 1.4 degrees above the norm. Evening temperatures were well above normal, averaging 66.0 degrees, 6.1 degrees above the norm.
Precipitation was well below normal in August. Rainfall totaled 2.82 inches for the month; this is 1.47 inches below normal. This gives us a year-to-date total rainfall of 35.54 inches, 4.74 inches above average. We had measurable precipitation on eleven days; all with in the first half of the month and three of which were under 0.10 inches. The last 19 consecutive days had only 0.25 inches of rain. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.04 inches on the 7th and 8th.
Sunshine totaled 51% of the possible sunshine hours, 5 points below the norm, recorded at the Blue Hill Observatory.
2003 CROP FORECAST New England Agricultural Statistic Service gave the United States forecast for the 2003 cranberry crop. This year forecast is 5.83 million barrels, up 3 percent from 2002 and 9 percent above 2001. Massachusetts cranberry crop is forecast at 1.7 million barrels, up 17 percent from 2002. New Jersey's forecast is for 470,000 barrels, Oregon; 440,000 barrels, Washington; 170,000 barrels, Wisconsin; 3.05 million barrels.
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September was warm with below average rainfall. The temperatures averaged 65.1 degrees, which is 2.3 degrees above normal. The maximum temperature was 83 degrees on the 14th. A minimum temperature of 44 degrees was recorded on the 10th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 73.8 degrees, 1.1 degrees above the norm. Evening temperatures were well above normal, averaging 56.5 degrees, 3.6 degrees above the norm.
Sunshine recorded from Blue Hill Observatory totaled 53% of possible points, one point below average.
Precipitation totaled 2.37 inches for the month of September; this is 1.47 inches below normal. This gives a year-to-date total rainfall of 37.91 inches, 3.27 inches above average and 4.11 inches above last years total rainfall at this time. We had measurable precipitation on eight days. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.36 inches on the 2rd. Hurricane Fabian passed far out to seas, Isabel (as a Tropical Storm) passed far west, and Tropical Storm Juan which passed well out to sea, brought us high winds but no beneficial rain. In the last 25 days of September we only received 0.47 inches of rain.
HARVEST The 2003 harvest season is in full swing. Dry and wet harvesting is occurring in all areas. Some growers picked white berries in early to mid September. Crops are variable in size this year, but on the whole most growers are coming in under their estimates. There have been no reports on color or quality at this time.
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October was cloudy, cold, and wet. Temperatures averaged 52.1 degrees for the month, 0.8 degrees below normal. Daytime temperatures averaged 60.7 degrees, 2.5 degrees below normal. The evening temperatures averaged 43.5 degrees, 0.9 degrees above normal. A maximum temperature of 72 degrees was recorded on the 8th and a minimum temperature of 27 degrees was recorded on the 25th.
Precipitation totaled 5.23 inches, which was 1.79 inches above normal for the month. We have had 43.14 inches of rain to date for the year 2003, which is 5.23 inches above normal and 6.31 inches above this time last year. We had measurable rain (0.10 inches or above) on 9 days. The greatest 24-hour rainfall was 1.12 inches, which came on the 28th. The first 11 days of October were cloudy, average temperature and dry, followed by a week of very wet weather, finishing the month with warm and wet weather.
We had great fall colors this year, though they were about one week late, seemed to last longer. Sunshine totaled 51% of the possible sunshine hours (4 point less then average).
HARVEST Harvesting was in full swing during the month of October. Some growers found their yields to be lower than expected. The harvest season is coming to the end for many growers.
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November was a mild, sunny and dry month, the opposite from 2002. Temperatures averaged 45 degrees for the month, 1.8 degrees above normal and 3.0 degrees warmer than November 2002. Daytime temperatures averaged 53.0 degrees, which is exactly the average. The evening temperatures averaged 37.0 degrees, 3.6 degrees above normal. A maximum temperature of 69.0 degrees was recorded on the 3rd and a minimum temperature of 21.0 degrees was recorded on the 9th and 10th. Although no records were set, 61 degrees at midnight on the 28th was likely one of the warmest temperatures recorded for that time of day in November.
Precipitation totaled 2.94 inch, which was 1.66 inches below normal for the month and 3.56 inches less then November 2002. We have had 46.08 inches of rain to date for the year 2003. This is 3.40 inches above the average for the year to date. We had measurable rain (0.10 inches or above) on 7 days and with a trace to 0.10 inches of rain, leaving us with 15 dry days. The greatest 24-hour rainfall was 1.05 inches, which came on the 20th. Where has been no snow fall recorded this month. Two frontal systems, with damaging winds and gusts over 50 mph past by us on the 13th and again on the 29th and 30th.
Sunshine totaled 49% of the possible sunshine hours (2 points more then average). This is up 9% from November 2002. We had 7 days with 95% or better sunshine.
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December was very sunny with above average precipitation. The temperature averaged 35.8 degrees, 3.9 degree above normal. The first half of the month was very cold, temperature during the first two weeks averaged 31 degrees compared to the last 2 weeks were temperatures averaged 40 degrees. Day-time highs for the month averaged 2.2 degrees above normal and daily lows averaged 5.7 degrees above normal. Maximum temperature was 57 degrees on the 24th and a minimum temperature of 16 degrees was recorded on the 3rd.
Precipitation totaled 5.99 inches. This is 1.79 inches above normal. Total precipitation for the year was 52.07 inches, 5.19 inches above normal. We had measurable rain on 9 days. There were four days with measurable snow totaling 14.5 inches of snow, 9.4 inches above normal for the month. The largest snowfall came during a three day Northeaster on Dec. 5th - 7th. Snowfall on the 6th measured 10.5 inches before turning over to rain. This is the same date as last year's snowfall of 5.6 inches. The largest 24 hour rainfall for the month came on the 7th with 2.4 inches of rain. This 48 hour storm, on the 5th , 6th and 7th, gave us a total precipitation of 3.5 inches of melted snow and rain. This storm also brought strong winds with 25 mph winds and gust up to 48 mph. December was the windiest month since January 2002, with 10 days averaging over 16 mph. Sunshine totaled 51% of the possible sunshine hours, 5 points over the norm of 46%.
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The year 2003 was very cold, quite sunny with above average rainfall. Eight months of the year temperatures averaged below normal. The maximum temperature for the year was 90 degrees on both June 26th and July 6th and the minimum temperature was -3.0 degrees on February 13th. The summer of 2003 was above average in temperature with above average rainfall and below average sunshine. There was a total of 2 days with temperature of 90 degrees of higher; this is 2 days less than the average of four days. By year's end, precipitation totaled 52.07 inches, 5.19 inches above normal. March was the wettest month with 7.21 inches of rainfall, followed by April with 6.79 inches, giving a total of 14.0 inches of rain in 61 days. The heaviest 24-hour rainfall in 2003 was 2.66 inches on April 25th. The driest month was July with only 2.15 inches of rain. February gave us 28.0 inches of snow, this is the 2nd largest snowfall on record for East Wareham surpassed only in 1978 with 31.0 inches. We set a new record for the greatest snowfall in one storm, for February, with 17.0 inches of snow. Sunshine hours for the year were above average (-97 hours). There were seven months with low sunshine hours and five months with above sunshine hours. February was the sunniest months. Overall, we started 2003 very sunny and very wet, with below average temperatures. The year's weather continued with a cool, wet and cloudy summer. September brought us three tropical storms with little to no damage. We ended the year with three very warm months, with above normal rainfall. December also had 14.5 inches of snow, 9.4 inches above the 30-year average.
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