Weather Blog

New Winter Misery Index says past winter was worst since '73

New Winter Misery Index says past winter was worst since '73
Sisters Lindsey Olson, left, and Diana Olson stop to look at the Space Needle as they walk up a snow covered hill in the aftermath of a weekend storm Monday, Dec. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

I know, here we are just a few days from the start of summer, but let's go back and revisit our cool, snowy winter one last time.

David Obelcz has created a "Winter Misery Index" that sought to rank the past winters in Seattle since 1948 -- the first year Sea-Tac Airport data is available.

You might remember the name, as Obelcz also created our Summer Satisfaction Index that found last summer was a little less than stellar, but not as bad as you might have thought.

This time around, he's tweaked the index to focus on winter -- namely evaluating temperature, rainfall, snowfall, and accumulated snow from Dec. 1 through March 31 for each season.

Warm, dry days were scored higher, while cold days with accumulating snow scored lower. It was also weighted a bit depending on whether the weather occurred on weekends versus weekdays.

(For you cold and snow fans, just invert the score and treat lower scores as more desirable.)

For this past winter, it scored 12th lowest at 895.93.

"It could have been worse," Obelcz said. "While our previous winter was quite miserable, the years from 1949 to 1952, along with 1969 to 1973 were all worse."

An average winter was about 1023.39 while the lowest score (by far) was the winter of 1949-1950 with a 576.95. The highest scoring winter was 2004/05 which rated at 1273.11.

Here is David's entire chart:

WINTER SCORE
1949/50 576.95
1948/49 648.97
1955/56 745.16
1971/72 747.7
1970/71 793.38
1968/69 811.14
1950/51 827.5
1956/57 834.13
1951/52 856.09
1954/55 886.02
1972/73 895.46
2008/09 895.93
1953/54 905.29
1974/75 910.24
1998/99 926.45
1988/89 926.46
1958/59 929.63
1952/53 943.97
1973/74 946.8
1966/67 949.73
1975/76 952.83
1981/82 953.69
1990/91 959.11
1965/66 973.35
1959/60 974.68
1960/61 978.44
1963/64 990.66
1996/97 999.75
1979/80 1000.25
2006/07 1015.06
1995/96 1021.06
AVERAGE 1023.39
1967/68 1024.17
1984/85 1030.38
1961/62 1033.51
1964/65 1040
2005/06 1042.23
2007/08 1054.12
2001/02 1055.25
1957/58 1069.11
2002/03 1070.35
1983/84 1087.47
1962/63 1092.2
1999/2000 1093.27
1992/93 1093.8
1969/70 1104.46
1989/90 1112.95
1978/79 1121.64
1994/95 1125.05
1997/98 1125.39
1985/86 1126.67
1982/83 1135.88
2000/01 1141.38
1987/88 1147.98
2003/04 1154.89
1986/87 1179.54
1977/78 1179.73
1993/94 1182.2
1980/81 1214.93
1976/77 1244.4
1991/92 1271.62
2004/05

1273.11