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How does 2015 rank for temperature and precipitation?

Reporters often ask me about how a month or a season ranked compared to other years of record.  I like to use the Southeastern Regional Climate Center’s Perspectives tool to help determine that.  You can use the link http://www.sercc.com/perspectives?user=true and set your own start and end point to pick the time period of interest.

For most climatological applications, you would pick an individual station to determine averages and trends.  For determining rankings for media, I usually use the ThreadEx record, which combines city and airport records into one continuous “thread”.  ThreadEx station records are “compilations of different stations’ records for a metropolitan area and should not be used to evaluate trends or changes in climate”, but were created for the “express purpose of calculating daily extremes for a given city.”  You can find more info about ThreadEx stations at http://threadex.rcc-acis.org/.

To get the ThreadEx record on Perspectives, choose a station (either predefined or by address) and then click on “Find” to locate nearby stations.  The ThreadEx station will be listed as the station name followed by “thr”, for example AHNthr for Athens, GA.

Using this technique, here are the rankings I get for Georgia cities for 2015:

Athens 5th wettest, 9th warmest in 159 years (some years may be missing data)

Atlanta 3rd wettest, 3rd warmest in 138 years

Augusta 46th wettest, 21st warmest in 145 years

Columbus 7th wettest, 21st warmest in 125 years

Macon 27th wettest, 17th warmest in 124 years

Savannah 68th wettest, 4th warmest in 146 years

You can also show ThreadEx rankings on the Perspectives map tool by clicking the box to show ThreadEx rankings in the menu on top right.  The map below shows both the rankings for the current station (usually the airport) and for the ThreadEx record.  For example, for Athens GA the ranking for mean temperature for 2015 based on just the airport record was 2nd but the ranking based on the ThreadEx record was 9th warmest.

2015 temp ranking