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September 20, 2018

Febrrr-uary Was Cold – But Not ‘Coldest’


OSWEGO, NY – February 2015 was cold – really cold. But it wasn’t the coldest on record, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

The average temperature last month was 14.1 degrees. That is 11.3 degrees below average.

For a winter break, with the Oswego River and Canal frozen, the local Oswego paddling group enjoyed a beautiful day,  xc-skiing and snowshoeing at Great Bear Recreational Area. With the abundance of snow, the trails at Great Bear are well suited for xc-skiing and snowshoeing. Great Bear is a non-motoriized share the trail area, just south of Fulton, adjacent to Route 57. Info and a trail map can be found at: http://www.friendsofgreatbear.org/ Pictured at the historic Oswego canal guard lock #2 and tow path, from left are: Ellen Wahl, Dick Kaulfuss, Diane Chepko, Ozzie (sitting) Margaret Bocsor, Remo Bianco and Mike Tafler. Camera shy: Naneen Drosse, Kathy Fenlon, Randy and Nate Gordon.

For a winter break, with the Oswego River and Canal frozen, the local Oswego paddling group enjoyed a beautiful day, xc-skiing and snowshoeing at Great Bear Recreational Area. With the abundance of snow, the trails at Great Bear are well suited for xc-skiing and snowshoeing. Great Bear is a non-motoriized share the trail area, just south of Fulton, adjacent to Route 57. Info and a trail map can be found at: http://www.friendsofgreatbear.org/
Pictured at the historic Oswego canal guard lock #2 and tow path, from left are: Ellen Wahl, Dick Kaulfuss, Diane Chepko, Ozzie (sitting) Margaret Bocsor, Remo Bianco and Mike Tafler. Camera shy: Naneen Drosse, Kathy Fenlon, Randy and Nate Gordon. (Photo provided by Dick Drosse)

“That’s pretty darn cold; but, we weren’t as cold as inland places like Syracuse,” Gregway said. “We didn’t have any big below zero readings like they did. Lake Ontario actually helped keep us warmer.”

The highest temperature for February was 32 degrees on the 4th. The lowest was -5 degrees on the 24th.

There were no records set.

“We had a near record on the 24th – we were 1 degree away. The record is -6 degrees in 1894,” Gregway said.

February had just the 1 high in the 30s.

There were 2 highs in the single digits and 6 in the teens.

The overnight low was zero or below 8 times. And, 10 times it was in the single digits.

“When we went below zero it wasn’t a biggie. We only went down as far as -5. The whole month was 32 degrees or below,” Gregway said.

Total precipitation for the month was 2.62 inches. That is 0.21-inch below normal.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 0.55-inch on the 2nd.

For the year, precipitation now stands at 4.94 inches. That is 1.68 inches below average.

Snowfall for February came in at 60.2 inches. That is 25.7 inches higher than normal.

The most snowfall in a 24-hour period was 10.0 inches on the 2nd.

“The snow didn’t have a lot of water content in it last month,” Gregway said. “It was very light and fluffy. We had very dry air all month.”

For the winter, total snowfall is 132.4 inches. That’s 5.2 inches more than average.

February had 1 occasion of snow pellets and no ice pellets or freezing rain.

There were no thunderstorms or foggy days – both of which are normal.

There was measurable precipitation on 20 days, 9 of them (the first 9 days) were consecutive.

No precipitation fell on 6 days, with a stretch of 2 in a row.

And, 2 days had just a trace.

The area received 24 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That is 7 percentages below average.

The number of cloudy days, 21, was 1 above average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 5, was 1 below average.

The number of clear days, 2, was average.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.78 on the 28th and the lowest was 29.47 on the 14th.

February’s strongest winds were north-northwesterly greater than 30 mph on the 12th.

There 8 days where the winds were more than 20 mph, Gregway added.

For February 2014, the temperature was 2.9 degrees below average. The highest was 46 degrees and the lowest was 2 degrees.

“There were no below zero readings. We had 4 days where it was 40 or above and 6 days in the single digits,” Gregway said.

Precipitation was almost 0.5-inch above average.

Snowfall was about 7 inches higher than normal.

The warmest February is (34.0 degrees) 1867.

The coldest February on record is 1934 with 10.8 degrees. That is followed by 1885 with 11.9 degrees. This past February ranks third, followed closely by 1979 with 14.4 degrees.

The highest temperature in February is 63 degrees recorded on Feb. 23, 1984 and Feb. 27, 2000.

The lowest is -21 degrees recorded on Feb. 9, 1934.

The wettest February is 2008 (6.22 inches) and the driest is 1987 (0.67-inch).

February 2007 holds the dubious honor of being the snowiest (95.9 inches).

Other snowy Februarys include: 1972 (94.1 inches), 1988 (70.4 inches), 1993 (65.3 inches) and 2015 (60.2 inches).

The least amount of February snow is 2.5 inches in 1957.

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