Sunday, 1 March 2015
Yet Another Cold February...
After a very mild December and January, much colder conditions finally made their return in February. In fact, this past February was very similar to last year's February which averaged -20.0°C. This year averaged -19.2°C, 27th coldest February since 1873 and 11th coldest in the last century.
21 days dipped below -20°C, well below the normal of 14 days and tied 22nd most since 1873. 5 days dipped below -30°C, close to the normal of 4 days. This highlights the fact that although we may be seeing extended periods of cold, the cold is not particularly extreme in itself. Only 6 days rose above -10°C, tied 10th least since 1873. In fact, the monthly maximum was just a measly -3.1°C.
Chilly Februarys have become the norm in the last decade. Since 2005, only 2012 had a warmer than normal February. 10 of the last 11 Februarys have averaged colder than normal. 5 of these averaged well below normal (more than 2°C below normal).
Unfortunately, dominant below normal conditions look to last through the first week of March. In fact, the cold will be reinforced by another push of arctic air mid week. Things look to moderate by the end of the week. Long range models indicate a good chance of generally above normal conditions for the second week of March. Let's hope this comes true! Now that the sun is much stronger, it wouldn't take much to put quite a dent in the little snow that we have on the ground. Snow depth is only about 20 cm in Winnipeg, more than half what it was last year (47 cm).