Window closing on chance for below zero temps

2-14-17-cover

Columbus (WCMH) – Here is something to think about, it has been 2 years since we have had our last below zero temperature in Columbus!!!

You read that correctly, the last time we had a temperature of 0 was the 28th of February in 2015, and on the 24th of that same month was our last below 0 temp, it hit -11.

 

While our normal low dips into the low 20s in January, it is not uncommon to see temps plunge with clearing skies post a snow storm below 0.

Normally during Meteorological Winter (Dec 1 – Feb 28/29) almost every day has recorded a 0 or below temperature (86/91 days)
Below are number of zero or below days each month for record lows:

  • Nov.   4 days, coldest -5°, all 4 days below zero
  • Dec.  26 days, coldest -17°, 1 zero, 25 days below zero
  • Jan.  31 days, coldest -22°, all 31 days below zero
  • Feb.  29 days, coldest -20°, 2 zero, 27 days below zero
  • Mar.  5 days, coldest -6°, 2 zero, 3 days below zero

I would put the likelihood of us having a below zero temperature this season at 1%

Sure there is a chance!  In the past 40 years, we have seen temps flirt with 0 as late as the first 1/3rd of March.   HOWEVER… the rest of February is out!

We would need to bank on some major polar outbreak to slide south in early March, and the longer range models are not hinting at that.

 

us-snow-2-14-17

Also, look at the snow cover map of the US.   We would also need a good, thick, cold snow pack to the north/northwest of us, so a plunging polar system would not lose enough punch when it arrived to drop us below zero.

 

Is this uncommon?  Not really, in the past 5 Winters here, this would be the 3rd time this has happened

Below is the list of coldest temperatures each month.

Dec Jan feb mar Lowest
2016-17
2015-16 21° 22°
2014-15 15° -6° -11° -11°
2013-14 11° -11° -3° -11°
2012-13 19° 18°

Bottom line:  While I am saying there is a chance, it is super slim

 

If you ever have questions about cold temps, warm temps, or any other type of weather, email me: dmazza@wcmh.com

 

-Dave

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