February can bring coldest weather

By Jim Robinson: Meteorological Technician, 27th Special Operations Support Squadron

February precipitation events can be rain or snow (and sometimes both at the same time), and are generally created by broad synoptic storm systems. The average February is characterized by about three or four strong cold fronts during the month. The strongest cold fronts often feature temperature drops of 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a couple hours, and wind speeds approaching 60 mph. The recorded highest wind gust in January is slightly more than 70 mph.

The amount of potentially available sunlight increases through the month, as the time span between sunrise and sunset gradually lengthens from day to day. However, days are still relatively short, and the weather tends to reflect the lack of solar warming.

The average temperature for February is 42 degrees, ranging from 40 degrees on Feb. 1 to 45 degrees on Feb. 28. The average maximum temperature for the month is 56 degrees, with the average daily maximum temperature rising from 53 degrees on the first day of the month to 59 degrees by Feb. 28. The average minimum temperature for the month is 29 degrees, with the average daily minimum temperature ranging from 26 degrees on the Feb. 1 to 31 degrees on Feb. 28.

The highest recorded monthly temperature is 83 degrees, which occurred on both Feb. 13, 1962, and Feb. 26, 1989. The all-time lowest temperature ever recorded at here is 17 degrees below zero, which occurred Feb. 1, 1951. Daily record high temperatures are in the 70s or 80s every day of the month. Daily record low temperatures range from the double digits below zero to the double digits above zero.

Cannon averages 0.4 inch of liquid equivalent precipitation during February. The month averages 2.9 inches of snowfall, with the highest recorded snowfall amount in February being 18.7 inches.

In summary, February is generally considered the tail end of winter, but can still have the coldest weather of the year, as has been the case this year.