Weather by the numbers, from Nov. 1 to Jan. 17
• Average temperature: 39.5 degrees.
• Average temperature since 1909: 36.2 degrees.
• The warmest on record was of 2001-02, with an average temperature of 43.9 degrees.
• The coldest was 1976-77, with an average temperature of 27.9 degrees.
— Numbers provided by the Kansas State Climatologist’s Office.
The past couple of days in Lawrence notwithstanding, it sure seems like it’s been a pretty warm winter so far.
And the numbers prove it.
The November through mid-January average temperature of 39.5 degrees — about three degrees above average — is the 16th warmest of that time frame in Lawrence since 1909, according to data compiled by Mary Knapp, state climatologist at the Kansas State Climatologist’s Office.
And while Lawrence has seen just a touch of snow this winter, it’s actually been the 12th-wettest from November to January, with the area receiving 8.36 inches of precipitation, nearly doubling the average precipitation of 4.58 inches since 1909.
The weather has had both economic and agricultural effects in the area.
Though statistically there’s been above-average precipitation, a lack of snow, which helps hold moisture in the soil, could be an issue with the upcoming growing season, said Bill Wood, director of the K-State Research and Extension office in Douglas County.
“It’s looking pretty dry right now,” he said.
And the warmer weather means that more insects may survive the winter and could be something to watch out for this year, Wood said. But Wood said that overall he doesn’t anticipate any huge problems in the local agricultural world because of the weather.
No snow also means no need for snow shovels and other winter-related items, creating a hole in sales at Cottin’s Hardware, said owner Linda Cottin.
“There’s definitely a downturn in the winter market,” she said.
But there’s a positive aspect, Cottin said, as they’ve been able to make up sales through an increased demand for outdoor-related products, such as exterior paint and lawn and garden supplies.
But they’ll keep winter products in stock just in case, Cottin said. This is Kansas, after all. And it’s only January.
That’s a pretty good idea, Knapp said, as there’s no way to know if the current weather trends will hold.
“In the plains, we can go pretty quickly from one temperature to another,” she said.