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February 2012 Was Fourth Warmest Since 1969

OSWEGO, NY – All things considered, February 2012 was downright balmy.

The average temperature last month was 32.2 degrees. That’s 6.8 degrees warmer than average, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

While we did get some snow last month, the temperature was warm enough to allow for for some bird watching in spring-like weather.
While we did get some snow last month, the temperature was warm enough to allow for for some bird watching in spring-like weather.

Going back to 1969, when Gregway began his tenure with the NWS, that is the 4th warmest February on record. Going to 1854, it slips slightly to the 6th warmest.

The highest temperature was 52 degrees on the 27th (that was the highest it has been since it hit 53 degrees on Dec. 15, 2011). It was followed closely by 51 degrees on the 1st. The lowest was 10 degrees on the 12th.

There were 2 days where the high temperature was in the 50s and 7 days where it was in the 40s.

The overnight lows fell into the teens just 3 times.

“There were just 4 days where the whole day was below freezing,” Gregway said. “It really wasn’t much of a February.”

Total precipitation came in at 1.79 inches, which is 1.04 inches below average.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 0.41-inch on the 23rd.

For the year, total precipitation stands at 6.66 inches. That is just 0.04-inch above average.

Total snowfall for February is 15.2 inches. That is 19.3 inches below where it should be.

For the winter, the difference is even more dramatic. Through the end of February, the winter snowfall is languishing at 61.5 inches.

“That’s 65.7 inches below average,” Gregway exclaimed. “There’s something wrong here!”

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 6.5 inches that came on the 12th and 13th.

Measurable precipitation fell on 13 days in February, with runs of 3 and 2 days in a row.

A trace was recorded on 7 days and no precipitation fell on 9 days with 3 of them consecutively.

There were no thunderstorms and no foggy days last month, both of which are normal.

“We had snow pellets 3 times and ice pellets 2 times, but no glaze,” Gregway said.

The number of cloudy days, 19, was 1 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 8, was 2 above average.

The number of clear days, 2, was 1 below average.

The area saw 32 percent of the possible amount of sunshine last month. That’s 1 percentage above normal.

“It wasn’t as sunny as the temperature would lead you to believe,” Gregway observed.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.47 on the 3rd and the lowest was 29.25 on the 24th.

The strongest winds were west-southwesterly on the 24th with sustained speeds around 35 to 45 mph and gusts higher than 50 mph at times.

“It was a windy month,” Gregway observed. “We had 9 times where the wind speeds were greater than 20 mph.”

The warmest February is 1867 (34.0 degrees). In second place is 2002 (33.0 degrees).

The coolest is 1979 (14.4 degrees).

The wettest is 6.22 inches in 2008.

The driest is 0.67-inch in 1987.

The most snow in February is 2007’s 95.9 inches. The least is 2.5 inches in 1957.

Gregway pointed out that number 10 on the least snowiest February list is 10.3″ in 1953. “So the 15.2 inches we have now really isn’t a biggie,” he said. There have been several with less snow.”