December 2011 was ranking as the 4th warmest on record for the final two weeks of the month. If the month was to edge higher in the rankings, the final few days needed to be quite mild. With highs in the 30s and more importantly, lows in the 20s during the final few days of the month, December 2011 was able to edge out December 1939 by 0.1 degree to finish as the 3rd warmest December since 1881.
The two warmest Decembers on record were in 1959 with an average temperature of 25.9 degrees and in 2006 with an average temperature of 25.6 degrees. Last month finished with an average temperature of 25.3 degrees. Although December was dry, it was not exceptionally so, finishing with 0.36 inches of rain and melted snow. That places 2011 as the 36th driest December on record.
That was the driest December since 2001. Officially, 3.1 inches of snow was recorded in December which was the lowest snow total for the month since 1994.