February 2018, 7th wettest, 8th warmest on record

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – February, usually that dreaded month, while the shortest, it can be the most temperamental as well, and this one was no different.

What started off as a snowy month, with 8 straight days of at least snow flurries, and even a daily record snowfall on the 7th of 4.4″ we almost completely shut off the snow machine after that.  We had 1 more measurable snow after that, with 0.7″ on the 17th, our last cool day.


It was an overall wet month, the wettest in more than a century!

As you can see in the graphic at the top, most of our area finished between 200-300% of normal precipitation for the month based on radar estimates.  This means 2-3 times the normal (melted) precipitation fell over our area this past month.

When the final numbers are in, we are going to go down as the 7th wettest February on record.  This includes all the rainfall we had, and all the melted ice/snow that fell as well.

We did officially pick up 1/2 a foot of snow, which melted to about  3/4 of an inch of water.  This means we still had an addition 4.75″ of rainfall in this month.

For the record, February is typically our driest month, with only 2.25″ of precipitation is normal.

But since the 1800s, we have not had a February this wet!

1st 1893 7.65″
2nd 1887 6.48″
3rd 1883 6.18″
4th 1890 6.12″
5th 1882 5.94″
6th 1891 5.42″
7th 2018 5.25″

Shockingly, we are going to finish the month 0.1″ below normal for snowfall here in Columbus

In total we had many days with snow and rain for the 28 day month, in fact we only had 8 totally dry days this month.  The last three days of the month were the only 3 day period all year long that were dry in a row (as of the writing at 1030pm this still holds true, but showers are near)

Below the chart shows the number of days we saw the type of precip. in our area.  I did not count the days that we saw snow only as melted precip, even those do add to our melted water total (5.25″ for the month).

It has been a very warm month as well, in fact the 8th warmest on record at 38.8 degrees

This puts us 6.0 degrees above normal for the month, not as warm as the record setting year last year, but still quite warm.  Shocking too, that last year was the warmest on record, 2016 was a bit warmer than normal, and 2015 was the 2nd coldest February on record.

The chart above shows the number of days we had highs or lows in each range.  We had a high temp of 77 on the 20th, and the low temp of 10 on the 5th.  What is incredible is the fact that this month has normal low temperatures in the 20s all month, yet this month we only had 6 days with lows in the 20s, 6 in the teens too.

But you notice we had our largest number of occurrences of overnight lows in the 30s, which indicates a warmer than normal night by at least a half dozen.

Also, in a month where the normal highs go from the upper 30s to the middle 40s by the end, notice that 12 out of the 28 days were in the 50s or better!


Records, highs, lows and snow!

3 records fell in February, and 1 was tied as well.

Heaviest snowfall for the 7th of February was broken when 4.4″ fell this February 7th, a new daily record, but not close to the heaviest snow ever for the month

The record warmest day on the 20th occurred with a high nearly 10 above the old record for the date when we hit 77 degrees.  It also set the record for the warmest low temperature for the date at 60 degrees.

Also, on the 20th, it tied for the warmest average temperature in “Meteorological Winter” with an average temperature of 68.5 degrees.  It tied with February 24th of last year (high of 78, low of 59).



If you ever have questions about rain, snow, warm, cold, climate, or any other weather, email me, dmazza@wcmh.com


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