Recap of Record Breaking February & US March 2019 Outlook

Written by on March 4, 2019 in United States of America with 0 Comments

February 2019 was record breaking month for warmth, cold, snow, rain and event wind. Parts of Western Canada haven’t seen a February as cold since the Great Depression.

Here’s the 2-metre temperature anomaly for February across the US.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

Check out how many locations have just observed their snowiest February on record and how far reaching.


The below information is excerpts from highlighting the most significant records.

Snow Records

One could argue Eau Claire, Wisconsin, had the most impressive monthly record crushing.

This northwest Wisconsin city picked up 53.7 inches of snow in February alone, almost doubling their previous February record set during the Dust Bowl – 28.2 inches in 1936 – but crushing their previous record snowiest single month – 35.3 inches in January 1929 – by over 18 inches.

Both Rhinelander and Wausau, Wisconsin, also crushed their previous record snowy single monthly snow totals by over a foot.

In a similar vein, both Pendleton, Oregon (32.5 inches), and Rochester, Minnesota (40 inches), virtually doubled their previous record snowiest Februaries. Rochester just missed its record snowy month – 41.3 inches in December 2010 – by just 1.3 inches.

Minneapolis/St. Paul also smashed its snowiest February in 2019 by over a foot, tallying 39 inches of snow. The previous record was 26.5 inches in February 1962. Meteorologists at the local National Weather Service office celebrated this accomplishment by posing for a picture as the record was being broken Feb. 20.

Omaha, Nebraska, not only topped their February record, with 27 inches of snow, but also had their snowiest winter – December through February – tallying a whopping 46.1 inches of snow.

No location was snowier in February than California’s Sierra Nevada, which was buried by 207 inches, or more than 17 feet, of snow. This was the highest February total at the ski area sincerecords began in 1970.

Here is a partial list of other February monthly snow records set in order of snowfall amount:

– Jackson, Wyoming: 52.9 inches (only about 3 inches shy of their snowiest single month)

– Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan: 45.2 inches

– Duluth, Minnesota: 36.4 inches

– Lewiston, Idaho: 31.2 inches

– Des Moines, Iowa: 25.1 inches

– Fargo, North Dakota: 21.4 inches

– Bozeman, Montana: 21.4 inches

Cold Records

On the other end of the scale, a number of locations were record cold in February.

Miles City, Montana, and Rapid City, South Dakota, each set a new record cold February for the second year in a row.

Rapid City had 20 days with subzero low temperatures during the month, bottoming out at minus 19 degrees on Feb. 7.

Billings, Montana, set a February record, dipping below zero 19 of 28 days. Aberdeen, South Dakota, also dipped below zero a record 24 days in February, and never managed to see a temperature warmer than 22 degrees during the month, a record cold such peak February temperature.

Bellingham and Wenatchee, Washington, were among others setting record cold Februaries.

While not record cold, downtown Los Angeles failed to reach 70 degrees in February for thefirst time in records dating to 1877, the L.A. Times reported.

Las Vegas also had its coldest February in 35 years, though, again, not record cold.

Meanwhile up in Canada…

As stated above, in between the warm Southeast and cold Northwest, there’s been a tremendous amount of precipitation. Check out how many places have just seen their wettest February on record.


Rain Records

The heavy rain in February in the mid-South and Ohio Valley propelled several cities to their wettest February on record.

Nashville had received 13.47 inches of rain in February, easily surpassing the previous record of 12.37 inches set in February 1880.

Bristol and Knoxville also had a record soaking in February in the Volunteer State.

For the second straight year, Tupelo, Mississippi, set a record wet February (15.61 inches), which crushed their record from 2018 of 12.98 inches.

Huntsville (13.72 inches) and Muscle Shoals (14.13 inches), Alabama, also easily beat their previous record-wet Februaries.

(MORE: Major Flooding on Rivers in the South and Ohio Valley Can Be Seen From Space)

It wasn’t just the South, however.

Taking into account rainfall and the liquid produced from snow and ice, Rockford, Illinois, also had a record wet February for the second year in a row, crushing their record from 2018 of 1.34 inches of liquid precipitation by almost an inch (2.27 inches).

Similarly setting record wet Februaries from melted wintry precipitation and rain were several locations that also were record snowy, including Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Rochester, Minnesota, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Great Falls, Montana, and Lewiston, Idaho.

Heat Records

Imagine basking in 90-degree heat in the winter. That happened in Florida, where several all-time February record highs were tied or broken.

On Feb. 18, Gainesville (89 degrees) and Vero Beach (89 degrees) saw their hottest February day on record.

Then, Naples recorded its all-time hottest February day Feb. 19, when it reached 90 degrees. This was also the city’s earliest 90-degree day in records dating to 1942.

Last weekend, Marathon reached 89 degrees Feb. 24, breaking the previous February monthly record high of 88 degrees, set just the day before on Feb. 23 and also on Feb. 18.

In all, it was the hottest February on record in Gainesville and Key West, Florida.

Hatteras, North Carolina, and Marathon, Florida, each had a record warm February for the second year in a row.

Wind records

Mt Washington’s 171 mph gust was the strongest in 34 years and a record for February. Grandfather Mountain’s 124 mph was strongest since station was installed back in May 2008. Manua Kea’s 191 mph gust is likely to set a new Hawaii record.

Credit: AccuWeather

March is starting off record cold but will be last?

The depth of cold to start off March is nothing short of incredible for the Northern Tier and hasn’t been seen for the time of year in decades, even for some, in over a century.

Modelling is along with other indicators including El Nino and the MJO see the upper air pattern switch across Alaska and northern Canada with lowering of heights in the north and rising heights further south. However, how quick the cold erodes and warmth lifts north remains to be seen.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

7-day mean 2m temperature anomaly shows the flip as the month progresses but the cold and snowy pattern is likely to hold in the West despite warming further east.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Featured image credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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