Region experienced brutal cold, snow during December
Temperatures averaged below normal during December in the Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky area.
The National Weather Service office in Paducah reported in a December climate review that temperatures averaged below normal by around 0.5 of a degree to 1 degree.
This was largely driven by an arctic blast that occurred from Dec. 22 to Dec. 27.
The weather service noted if those six days were removed from the month, December would have actually finished around 4 degrees above normal.
High temperatures during the first two weeks of the month were in the 50s quite often, with many areas even reaching the 60s on several days.
Similar temperatures were experienced at the end of the month, from Dec. 28 through Dec. 31.
The big headline during the month was the brutal cold which arrived after an arctic front plowed through on Dec. 22.
Temperatures dropped below zero that night and only reached the single digits for highs on Dec. 23.
Strong winds led to dangerously cold wind chills of 20 to 30 below zero, which were the coldest in the area in over 25 years.
Some moderation occurred from Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, but highs were still only in the 20s.
The entire region experienced one of its top 10 coldest high temperatures on Christmas Day. For Paducah, it was the third coldest at 23 degrees.
Precipitation finished near to wetter than normal across the region. Many areas observed amounts ranging from 4 to 6 inches.
Localized higher amounts were primarily confined to parts of Southeast Missouri into far Western Kentucky.
The highest observed amount was 6.78 inches at a CoCoRaHS station 3.3 miles northeast of Fulton, Ky.
Two Snow Events
There were two snow events that impacted the region on either side of the Christmas holiday.
The first occurred on the afternoon and evening of Dec. 22 and produced widespread amounts of 1 to 3 inches.
The other snow event occurred from Christmas night into Dec. 26 and produced amounts ranging from a dusting to around 2 inches.
For some areas, this was the first measurable snow in the month of December in eight years, including in Paducah.
This was also the first white Christmas for most of the region since 2010.