2015 Mid-Season Weather Re-Cap

How Does This Year Compare (so far) To The Past Five Years?

Chris Benedict, Washington State University Whatcom County Extension

Since late winter the main conversation has been the weather. It’s felt hot and dry since about April (or March or maybe February…). So we thought, how does this year compare to the past five years? This article is simply a summary of differences from the past five years, not an exhaustive climate evaluation.


So here’s how 2015 compares to the past five years:


Temperature (Figs. 1-8)

Average temperature for all stations in Whatcom County exhibited a higher average temperature in 2015 compared to all other years since 2010. This trend began in early March and continued throughout the remainder of the first half of 2015.  Growing degree days (GDD) began a rapid accumulation also around early March and haven’t slowed since.  GDD in 2014 also showed a rapid accumulation in mid-May, but did not accumulate at the same rate as 2015.

































Precipitation (Figs. 9-10)

The Nooksack station had the lowest recorded cumulative precipitation for the first half of 2015 at 12.12”, while Lawrence station had the highest recorded cumulative precipitation at 16.84”.  Across all stations, cumulative precipitation was lower than any other year between 2010-2014. Figure 10 shows the daily precipitation records since 1/1/15 for the four Whatcom County stations. Our traditionally wet April was virtually non-existent. Cumulative April precipitation was between 0.97 inches and 1.96 inches. The actual values over the past 5 years and the % difference between 2015 and the average between 2010 and 2014 are shown in Figure 11.