This report describes the historical weather record at the Port Columbus International Airport (Columbus, Ohio, United States) during 1978. This station has records back to January 1948.
Columbus, Ohio has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by croplands (82%), built-up areas (8%), and grasslands (7%)
Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Columbus, Ohio during 1978. There were two time changes during 1978:
1978 was not a leap year, so it has 365 days and no February 29th. The first leap year before 1978 was 1976 and the first after was 1980.
The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 1978 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Monday, 20 March 1978.|
|Summer Solstice||Wednesday, 21 June 1978.|
|Fall Equinox||Saturday, 23 September 1978.|
|Winter Solstice||Friday, 22 December 1978.|
The hottest day of 1978 was June 27, with a high temperature of 95°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 83°F and the high temperature exceeds 91°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 1978 was July with an average daily high temperature of 83°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was December 20. The high temperature that day was 60°F, compared to the average of 39°F, a difference of 21°F. In relative terms the warmest month was September, with an average high temperature of 80°F, compared to an typical value of 76°F.
The longest warm spell was from May 25 to June 3, constituting 10 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of September had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 77% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of 1978 was January 23, with a low temperature of -6°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 21°F and the low temperature drops below 5°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 1978 was February with an average daily low temperature of 9°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was March 2. The low temperature that day was 1°F, compared to the average of 29°F, a difference of 27°F. In relative terms the coldest month was February, with an average low temperature of 9°F, compared to an typical value of 24°F.
The longest cold spell was from January 26 to February 25, constituting 31 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of February had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 96% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The longest freezing spell was from January 27 to February 25, constituting 30 consecutive days with temperatures strictly below freezing.
The clearest month of 1978 was September, with 50% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from October 27 to November 6, constituting 11 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of 1978 was January, with 77% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from November 12 to November 30, constituting 19 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.
This station provides hourly reports of significant weather events at and around the station, but does not report the quantity of precipitation at the station itself. This is common for weather stations located outside of the United States, and for a small subset of stations in the United States that are located at lesser used and smaller airports.
This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.
The day in 1978 with the most precipitation observations was January 8. There were 24 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was January, with 366 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from September 17 to September 30, constituting 14 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was September, with 87% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was January, with 90% of days reporting some observed precipitation.
In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.
The month of 1978 with the largest number of those reports was May, with a total of 120 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was December 8, with a total of 23 reports.
This station reports both when snow is observed to be falling and the measured depth of the snow on the ground. Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the latter is significantly less reliable. Please bear this in mind when reading this section.
In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.
The first reported snow fall in 1978 was on October 4; the last was on April 20. The month of 1978 with the largest number of those reports was January, with a total of 307 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was January 13, with a total of 24 reports.
Snow depth on the ground is an optional and inconsistently reported part of standard weather reports. It is rarely reported more often than every six hours, it is often skipped, it is often reported erroneously, and a snow depth of zero is normally not distinguished from a missing report. These issues (particularly the last one) make it hard to collect statistics on snow depth with any confidence. To overcome this issue, we base our statistics on only those reports with present non-zero measurements of snow depth. Reports that fail to mention snow that is present, and reports that do not report snow depth because there is no snow on the ground are excluded because they cannot be distinguished from one another.
The first reported accumulation in 1978 was on January 5. The last day of the snow season with snow reported on the ground was March 13. The day with the deepest snow depth was January 21, with an average snow depth of 16.9" over the course of the day. The longest stretch of time during which there was always snow on the ground was from January 12 to March 14 (62 consecutive days).
Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.
When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 1978 was April with an average daily low humidity of 39%, and the most humid month was January with an average daily low humidity of 65%.
But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.
Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.
Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.
To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 1978, January had 31 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days; April had 24 dry days, 6 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 19 comfortable days, and 12 humid days; and October had 23 dry days, 8 comfortable days, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 60 mph, occurring on October 31; the highest daily mean wind speed was 32 mph (January 26); and the highest wind gust speed was 69 mph (January 26).
The windiest month was January, with an average wind speed of 11 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 6 mph.
Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.
The day of 1978 with the lowest average visibility was January 26, with an average visibility of 0.7 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was January, with an average visibility of 5.8 mi. With an average visibility of 11.7 mi, the month of April had the highest average visibility.
The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.
The day of 1978 with the lowest average cloud ceiling was January 23, with an average cloud ceiling of 76'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was January, with an average cloud ceiling of 3002'. The month of August has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 10786'.