February 2012

The average temperature in February is 14.6 degrees.  The last time Fargo Moorhead recorded an average temperature above that was back in 2005.  As last month began this area had experienced 6 straight colder than average Februaries and many of those months finished well below normal.

February 2012 finally broke that streak and finished with an overall average temperature of 21.4 degrees which is 6.8 degrees above normal.  That ranked last month as the 13th warmest February since 1881.  Although it may have been cold in recent Februaries, many of those years finish at or below normal on precipitation and snowfall.  That was not the case this year.  Last month recorded 0.95 inches of liquid at the airport and 1.16 inches from the actual snow measuring site.  Well above the average of 0.61 inches.

Total Snowfall last month was 12.8 inches which is 5.8 inches above normal and was the most snow recorded in February since 1991.

2 Responses

  1. That single averaged number (of 21.4) translates into an average February daytime high of 31 degrees and an average nighttime low of 12 degrees. My mind is wired in terms of daily highs and lows, not a single number, although I noticed the meteorological community tends to hone into the singular metric. Do you feel that simplifies too much, or is there another reason?

  2. Daryl Ritchison

    I’ve been off work the last few days and didn’t have a chance to comment until this morning, but yes, the single number rarely tells the whole story. Usually, but certainly not always, our warm winters are due to cloud cover keeping our night time temperatures up, which an “average” of the low and the high would not tell you exactly. I try to mention reasons when there is one, but this winter it was a combination of both the lows and the highs due to our lack of snow, but like flow rates in rivers, one number over simplifies what really happened.

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