If youre new to the Treasure Valley, dont try to draw too many conclusions about our high-desert community based on 2012.
While the City of Trees doesnt always get a lot of snow, its not often that residents see brown when they gaze upon Bogus Basin in January.
They did in 2012.
And then the spring thaw came suddenly. To make room in the reservoirs, the Boise River was ripping along at one of its highest flows in 30 years.
The summer was suffocating like never before from heat and, worse, from wildfire smoke carried by the wind.
Heres a look at 2012s highs and lows.
JANUARYS SNOW NO-SHOW
Boise had no measureable precipitation from Jan. 1 to Jan. 17.
For the first time in 40 years, Special Olympics Idaho canceled its Winter Games because so many of the athletes had too little time on the snow to train.
The dry spell was snapped by an extremely heavy snowfall Jan. 18.
In just four hours 6 to 10 a.m. 4.8 inches of snow was recorded at the Boise Airport. Parts of the metro area got 7 inches or more.
Bogus Basin opened Jan. 19, its latest opening ever.
Statistically, January ended up being wetter than normal. Normal precipitation for the month is 1.38 inches, but 2.72 inches were logged Jan. 18-31.
RUNOFF, RAIN AND RESERVOIRS
A weather double-whammy in April forced water managers to increase discharges from Arrowrock and Lucky Peak reservoirs, raising the Boise River to above flood stage for two weeks.
What happened? Two days of 91-degree heat on April 22 and 23 caused rapid melting of the regions snowpack. That was followed by three days of rain, totaling 1.42 inches.
The river ran above flood stage from April 28 to May 15. Low areas near the river flooded, including parts of the Greenbelt and pastures and farmland near Star.
Barber Parks raft rentals and floating season opened June 26 a little later than normal but not as late as the July 15 opening in 2011.
RECORD HEAT, VERY DRY
The average temperature for June through September was 73.9 degrees the highest for those four months in more than 100 years.
Nine days in July hit at least 100, including six consecutive days (July 7-12). The high for the month was 108 (July 9 and 12). (Hottest day in Boise history? 111 on July 12, 1898, and July 19, 1960.)
The summer of 2012 was the fifth-driest on record.
From June 1 to Sept. 30, just .31 inches of rain fell at the Boise Airport. None was measured in August.
SMOKY, HAZY SUMMER
Winds carried smoke from wildfires across the West into the Treasure Valley all summer.
At one point, northwest winds were a good thing pushing out the filthy air draining in at night from the Trinity Ridge Fire in Elmore County, as well as smoke from fires in California, Oregon and Nevada. But in mid-September, those winds from the northwest carried smoke from two fires burning near New Meadows and Riggins and Washington state.
In all, 55 days had moderate or worse air quality from June 1 to Sept. 30, according to the Department of Environmental Quality.
August was the worst month for smoky air, with 23 days of poor air quality. As miserable as the air quality was, however, just two days hit the red zone (unhealthy for all).
September, October and November were warmer than normal the fifth-warmest autumn since 1865.
The amount of snowfall Boise gets in November varies, but the norm is 2.6 inches. Only a trace was recorded this year.
The first day of measurable snow this year was Dec. 8, when .7 inches fell. Precipitation for December 2012 is about a quarter inch below normal.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413
Data provided by Colin Baxter, National Weather Service.