Temperature trend lines for Februaries, 2010-2017
(Copyright © 2017 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)
February 2017 was our warmest February on record, beating the previous year, which in turn bested 2012. The high-low average (HLA) was 63.79°F, nearly five degrees warmer per day than the previous record-breaking February.
Not only was February 2017 warmer than all previous Februaries (and Januaries and Decembers), but it was warmer than the averages for March and November — only two Marches and two Novembers in the past eight years have been warmer than this February.
Our high for the month was 91°F, on the 23rd, which is the earliest we’ve ever experienced a 90-degree day, and the highest high that I can find ever recorded for February. Our low was 38°F, on the 16th, which is the warmest low for any February since we’ve lived here — also well above average for typically warmer months like March and November. Such a warm month would better fit among Aprils and Octobers.
We didn’t set any daily record lows, but recorded six daily record highs (and tied another).
No days dipped below freezing, which is rare for February. Since we moved here in 2009, the only other February that saw zero freezing days was in 2013.
While it’s really too early to make predictions for this year, I did so last month and might as well note some continuing trends.
1. Our combined January/February HLA has never been this warm. The last time a year opened this warmly (2012), we ended up with our warmest year of all time. That year, March, April, and May all set records that still stand.
2. We’ve never seen a February low as high as 38°F, especially following a very cold January low (16°F). Usually, if February’s lowest temp is relatively warm, it followed a relatively warm January, but that wasn’t the case this year.
3. Only twice before have both January and February been warmer than the preceding December. One was 2012, our warmest year on record, and the other was 2014, our coolest year since moving here.
4. The last time January/February combined for so few freezing days was 2012, our warmest year on record.
5. The last time January/February combined for so many inches of rain (6.52″) was in 2010, an above-average rainfall year.