December 2017 was drier than average and much warmer than usual with an average monthly temperature of 33.4 degrees. In the end, it was about the fifth warmest December on record in the Taos area; records began in the late 1890s, but the data are accurate for only about 85 years.
Precipitation was far below normal for the month, continuing a dry trend that started in October. The only precipitation for the month happened during the evening of Dec. 21 and into the early morning hours of Dec. 22 when the area saw some rather dry and fluffy snow.
With numerous sunny days, high temperatures were mostly in the 40s to mid 50s. Only two days recorded highs below 40 degrees. The coldest day was Dec. 7 with a high of 29 degrees. The warmest reading for the month was 58 on Dec. 30, while the coldest low was 8 on Dec. 15.
Even though it was quite mild for the month, no daily-temperature records were set.
Daseler is a retired senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service who lives in Taos.