February 2011: A Look Back - abc27 WHTM

February 2011: A Look Back

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March 2, 2011

Hello everyone.  Another month has passed us by and we are now officially into the start of meteorological spring.  With all the nice weather we have had over the last two days, its hard not to think of even nicer spring days ahead.  I wanted to take this time and space to look back at February 2011.  December and January proved to be quite cold with each month averaging around 4.0 degrees below normal.  That is fairly significant!  Despite the cold start, February had some mild days.  We also saw a good deal of moisture last month.  Let's take a closer look...

Temperature wise we had an average of 33.6 degrees last month.  That is actually 0.8 degrees above the normal value of 32.8.  We broke the well below normal trend of the previous two months and were actually warm during the month of February.  The highest temperature we had was 69 degrees back on February 18.  By comparison, the highest temperature ever recorded in February at Harrisburg International Airport was 78 degrees on February 27, 1997.  We also saw some bone-chilling temperatures last month too.  The lowest number recorded was 9 degrees on February 11.  The all-time low for the month still stands at -13 degrees set back in 1899 on February 10.  Even though our average temperature was slightly above normal, we still had 23 of the 28 days in February where the low temperature was below 32 degrees!

Staying in the temperature department, we had two record high temperatures set last month.  Technically the only new record is the 67 degrees recorded on February 17.  This broke the old record for the date of 65 degrees set all the way back in 1891!  However, the next day, we tied the record of 69 degrees set back in 1890.  Interestingly, we actually saw some unique history last month in terms of some remarkably warm temperatures.

We knew going into the month of February that it would be hard to top last year's record snowfall of 42.1 inches.  This year, however, we didn't even come close.  Harrisburg International Airport only measured 6.5 inches of snow last month.  This is 3.6 inches below the normal value of 10.1.  So far, for the entire winter, we are also below normal.  We have measured 23.9 inches of snow; this is 5.3 inches below the normal value of 29.2 inches.  The greatest one day total last month was 2.6 inches on February 6.

Finally, a quick look at precipitation as a whole.  We got 3.22 inches of liquid precipitation last month.  This amount is actually above the normal value of 2.88 inches by 0.34 inches.  For comparison, 1981 saw the most moisture with 5.93 inches and 2002 saw the least amount with 0.39 inches.

That's a wrap for last month.  Hopefully this month brings us warmer and less snowy conditions.  Keep in mind though that some of our biggest winter storms have happened during the month of March.  Stay tuned!

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