• February 2022 National Weather Summary

    From James Munley@21:1/5 to All on Wed Mar 16 15:58:15 2022

    FEBRUARY 2022

    1-5: A significant snow and ice storm unfolded during the first several days of February from central and southern sections of the Rockies and Plains into the mid-South, lower Midwest, and Northeast.

    Little or no precipitation occurred across the remainder of the country, except the Pacific Northwest. Across much of the western U.S., a mid-winter dry spell extended through a fifth consecutive week. According to the California Department of Water
    Resources, the average water equivalency of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada remained stalled near 16 inches, less than 90 percent of the early-February average.

    Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F below normal in parts of the central and southern Rockies, as well as adjacent areas across the Intermountain West and southern High Plains. A post-storm cold wave resulted in sub-zero temperatures on the
    Plains as far south as northern Texas. By February 5, sub 32°F readings reached into Deep South Texas, although temperature-sensitive crops appeared to be spared due to limited freeze intensity and short freeze duration. In contrast, near- to slightly
    above-normal temperatures covered several areas, including parts of the Southeast, the northern High Plains, and the Far West.

    Farther north, high winds and a brief surge of mild air preceded a strong cold front. On February 1 in Michigan, Houghton Airport clocked a wind gust to 64 mph, while daily-record highs included 46°F in Traverse City and 45°F in Gaylord. By February 2,
    precipitation developed and rapidly spread from the central and southern Rockies into the lower Midwest.

    As the week began, 4-year stretches of freeze-free weather ended on January 30 in Florida locations such as Daytona Beach (31°F) and Leesburg (32°F). Daytona Beach, which had last experienced a freeze on January 20, 2018, saw its freeze-free streak end
    at 1,471 days—less than a month shy of its record-long stretch of 1,497 days, set from December 25, 1929 – January 29, 1934. Elsewhere in Florida, Orlando’s spell of freeze-free weather continued, as lows fell only to 33°F on January 30 and 31.
    Orlando’s streak, 1,474 days through the end of January, remained nearly a year behind its longest freeze-free spell on record, which lasted 1,804 days from December 25, 2003 – January 2, 2008. Daily-record lows were tied on January 30 in several
    Florida locations, including Vero Beach (30°F), Fort Pierce (32°F), and Fort Myers (35°F). Meanwhile, cool, dry air briefly settled across portions of the West, where Paso Robles, CA, notched a daily-record low of 24°F on February 2. However,
    bitterly cold air was confined to the nation’s northern tier, where record-setting lows for February 3 dipped to -42°F in International Falls, MN, and -25°F in Dunkirk, MT. On the Plains, a poststorm cold wave lowered temperatures to daily-record
    levels for February 4 in Texas locations such as Dalhart (-10°F), Lubbock (-1°F), and Midland (7°F). Late in the week, temperatures quickly rebounded across the Southeast and Far West; daily-record highs reached 84°F (on February 4) in Jacksonville,
    FL, and 60°F (on February 5) in Dallesport, WA.

    6-12: Negligible precipitation fell nearly nationwide, as a mostly dry weather pattern took hold in the wake of the previous week’s rampant storminess. Any meaningful precipitation was generally limited to Deep South Texas and portions of the Atlantic
    Coast States. Parts of the Midwest received a few rain and snow showers, although amounts were mostly light. Dry weather in several areas remained a concern with respect to drought development or intensification, as well as potential impacts on rangeland,
    pastures, and winter grains. For example, the return of mild, dry, breezy weather across the Plains quickly eliminated any protective snow cover for winter wheat and negated some of the positive impacts of early February precipitation.

    Elsewhere, the West’s winter dry spell persisted through a sixth consecutive week, following December storminess. In addition, Western warmth and sunshine began to prematurely melt mountain snowpack, especially at lower elevations. Weekly temperatures
    averaged more than 10°F above normal in parts of the Pacific Coast States and northern Maine, as well as a broader area encompassing much of the northern Plains. Temperatures averaged as much as 20°F above normal in portions of eastern Montana and
    western North Dakota. In contrast, readings averaged at least 10°F below normal in scattered locations from southern Texas to the southern Atlantic Coast. Signs of anomalous warmth appeared early in the week in the Pacific Coast States, where daily-
    record highs for February 6 included 85°F in Anaheim, CA, and 70°F in North Bend, OR. Meanwhile in Texas, Austin (Bergstrom) notched a daily-record low of 18°F on the 6th. Warmth soon spread to the northern High Plains; in Montana, record-setting
    highs for February 7 climbed to 63°F in Havre, 59°F in Miles City, and 58°F in Glasgow. Havre also experienced its windiest February 7 on record, with a daily average wind speed of 25.7 mph (and a peak gust to 54 mph). Elsewhere in Montana on the 7th,
    Cut Bank clocked a peak gust to 81 mph. During the mid- to late-week period, warmth expanded and intensified across the West. From February 9-12, Red Bluff, CA, collected four consecutive daily-record highs (82, 84, 86, and 77°F). Red Bluff’s 86-
    degree reading also established a monthly record, previously set with a high of 85°F on February 14, 1977. Similarly, Salinas Airport (83, 87, 85, and 88°F) also logged daily-record highs each day from February 9-12—along with a pair of monthly
    record highs. Prior to this year, the highest February temperature in Salinas, CA, had been 85°F on the 13th in 2015. In California’s Bay Area, other monthly record highs tied or broken included 78°F (on February 10) at San Francisco Airport and 81°
    F (on February 12) in San Jose. Previous records (both set on February 26, 1986) had been 77°F in San Francisco and 81°F in San Jose. Meanwhile in southern California, the warm spell generally peaked on February 12, when monthly record highs soared to
    93°F in Chula Vista, 91°F in San Diego, and 84°F in Paso Robles. San Diego, with records back to 1874- 75, had never been above the 90-degree mark on a winter day— and had reached 90°F just once, on February 19, 1995. On February 11-12, Woodland
    Hills, CA, measured consecutive daily-record highs (91 and 90°F, respectively). The temperature in Anaheim rose to 94°F on February 12, a record for the date. Record-setting warmth extended to other areas, including the Northwest, where Redmond, OR (74
    F on February 10), achieved a monthly record, previously set with a high of 73°F on February 20 and 23, 1995. Elsewhere on the 10th, Northern warmth led to daily-record highs in Yakima, WA (70°F); Kalispell, MT (56°F); and Jamestown, ND (45°F). A
    late-week surge of warmth into the East produced daily-record highs for February 12 in locations such as Atlantic City, NJ (64°F); Providence, RI (63°F); and Boston, MA (60°F).

    Frigid conditions in northern and western Alaska contrasted with mild, wet weather in the southeastern part of the state. On February 8, Deadhorse recorded a temperature of -53°F, the lowest reading in that location since 2012. Farther south, Saint Paul
    Island (-1°F on February 8) noted a sub-zero reading for the first time since February 19, 2017.

    13-19: Some areas of the West received light rain and snow showers, much of the region has not yet experienced meaningful precipitation in 2022. The Western winter dry spell has reduced expectations for spring and summer runoff—and has increased the
    likelihood of drought continuing in many areas through a third consecutive year.

    Frigid weather lingered across the Great Lakes States, while near- to slightly below-normal temperatures covered the remainder of the eastern half of the country, as well as the Deep South. Weekly readings averaged at least 10°F below normal across the
    upper Great Lakes region. In contrast, near- or above-normal temperatures stretched from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Readings averaged more than 10°F above normal in parts of Montana. Bitterly cold weather was particularly persistent in the
    upper Great Lakes region, where International Falls, MN, registered a daily-record low of -42°F on February 13. Farther south, Austin (Bergstrom), TX, also tied a daily record on the 13th with a low of 23°F. Meanwhile, record-setting warmth lingered
    early in the week in parts of California. From February 12-14, Bakersfield, CA, tallied a trio of daily-record highs (85, 83, and 80°F). Other record-setting highs in California for February 13 included 91°F in Anaheim and 86°F in King City. Daily-
    record highs for February 13 extended into Oregon, where readings reached 66°F in Eugene and 63°F in Portland. Later, warmth briefly overspread the Plains in advance of an approaching storm system. Record-setting highs for February 15 climbed to 78°F
    in Borger, TX, and 71°F in Garden City, KS. Two days later, a significant surge of warmth preceded the same system into the East. Consequently, daily-record highs for February 17 rose to 86°F in Tampa, FL; 83°F in Augusta, GA; 71°F in Wilmington, DE;
    69°F in Newark, NJ; and 61°F in Boston, MA. Millinocket, ME, logged consecutive daily-record highs (51 and 52°F, respectively) on February 17-18. The daily-record warmth extended westward along the Gulf Coast into Texas, where February 17 highs
    included 86°F in Victoria and 81°F in Beaumont-Port Arthur. On the 18th, dew point temperatures rose to 72°F in Gainesville and Jacksonville, FL, breaking or tying February records in both locations. Late in the week, cooler air swept into the East,
    while warmth returned along and near the Pacific Coast. By February 19, California locations such as Mount Shasta City (67°F) and downtown Oakland (72°F) achieved daily-record highs.

    20-26: Weekly temperatures averaged more than 5°F above normal in many locations along the Atlantic Coast from Pennsylvania to Florida, extending westward along the Gulf Coast to near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Much of the remainder of the
    country noted cold, dry weather. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10 to 20°F below normal throughout the Rockies, Plains, and far upper Midwest, as well as the interior Northwest and northern Great Basin. Across the northern half of the Plains,
    where temperatures broadly fell below 0°F, winter wheat’s protective snow cover during the cold snap was patchy, with variable depth.

    In the West, another week with only spotty precipitation increased the odds of widespread drought persisting through at least the end of the winter wet season. Aside from an area stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, dryness has
    plagued the western U.S. since the beginning of 2022. Elsewhere, widespread soil moisture shortages continued to plague key winter wheat production areas on the Plains, despite fleeting accumulations of snow and ice in some areas. San Francisco, CA,
    received no rain, not even a trace from January 8 to February 20, a span of 44 days, followed by a meager 0.04 inch on the 21st. San Francisco’s longest winter dry spell lasted 46 days, from December 1, 1876, to January 15, 1877—a streak that began
    in late autumn (on November 17) and extended to 60 days. The longest modern winter dry spell in San Francisco’s history stretched 43 days, from December 25, 2014 – February 5, 2015.

    Daily-record highs for February 20 rose to 66°F in Norfolk, NE, and Sioux City, IA. (Five days later, on February 25, Sioux City collected a daily-record low of -9°F.) Subsequently, record-setting lows for February 22 plunged to -22°F in Livingston,
    MT, and 18°F in Laramie, WY. With a low of -27°F, Livingston set another record on February 23. Consecutive daily-record lows were also set on February 22-23 in Rapid City, SD (-16 and -17°F), and at Montana’s Bozeman Airport (-18 and -29°F).
    Elsewhere in Montana, daily-record lows for February 23 plunged to -36°F in West Yellowstone; -26°F in Cut Bank; and -25°F in Great Falls. For West Yellowstone, it was the lowest reading since January 6, 2017, when the low dipped to -40°F. Meanwhile,
    widespread freezes occurred on several mornings in California’s Central Valley and neighboring areas closer to the Pacific Coast. Merced, Madera, and Hanford, CA, reported freezes each morning from February 23-26, with the lowest readings—26, 27, and
    28°F, respectively—occurring on the 24th or 25th. Bakersfield, CA (32°F on February 24), noted its first freeze since December 24, 2020. Farther east, Clayton, NM, reported sub-10°F minimum temperatures each day from February 22-26, including a
    daily-record low of -5°F on the 23rd. On the central Plains, sub-zero, daily-record lows on February 23 plunged to -13°F in Chadron, NE; -8°F in Burlington, CO; and -2°F in Russell, KS. Several weather stations, including Goodland, KS, and Grand
    Island, NE, reported four consecutive sub-zero minima from February 22-25. In contrast, temperatures briefly soared across the western Gulf Coast region, where Corpus Christi, TX, posted a daily-record high of 91°F on February 22. By February 23,
    monthly records were tied or broken in Northeastern locations such as Bridgeport, CT (67°F), and Bangor, ME (65°F). In South Carolina, daily-record highs for February 24 surged to 86°F in Florence and 85°F in Columbia. Warmth continued through week’
    s end in Florida; Fort Myers logged highs of 85°F or higher each day from February 20-27, including daily-record maxima of 89°F on the 23rd, 24th, and 26th.

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