February U.S. TemperaturesMarch 19th, 2014 at 2:02 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click on the map to enlarge. This map from NOAA is the divisional rankings for Feb. 2014 temperature. Look closely at the colors and ranks. Grand Rapids was 9.1° colder than average in Feb. From the GRR NWS: “AN AVERAGE DEPARTURE OF 9 DEGREES FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH IS VERY SIGNIFICANT. POLAR AIR FREQUENTLY STREAMED IN FROM CANADA AND RESULTED IN THE 11TH COLDEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD IN GRAND RAPIDS AND MUSKEGON.” Yet, on the map, we get only a “below average”, not a “much below average”. Other departures: LAN -9.2, Kalamazoo -10.0, Holland -10.8, JXN -9.3, BTL -9.4, DTW -8.7, APN -9.5, HTL -9.4, TVC. -8.5, FWA -10.7 (5th coldest), Fargo ND -10 below normal. Grand Forks -11.6. Aberdeen SD -11 below norm. Rapid City SD -8.6 below. Great Falls MT -12.6.
Compare that to the “MUCH above” area in the SW: Los Angeles +2.6, San Diego +3.3, Las Vegas +4.1, Kingman AZ +3.9, Phoenix +4.7, Yuma +4.4, Sacramento +3.0, San Francisco +2.0.
They’ve managed to draw the “Much Above” area bigger than the “Much Below” area, despite the fact that actual monthly temperatures would suggest otherwise. Also, look how close the light blue is to the white average color.
Lower Michigan should be in the dark blue. This is a 120-year record, so to be in the top 10% you would have to have a top 12 coldest winter. Alpena and Houghton Lake had the 2nd coldest winter, Flint was 5th, Grand Rapids and Muskegon were 11th coldest. I can’t find a single reporting station that wasn’t in the top 15.
If anyone has the time…check around and see if you can find other February departures from average. If you were objectively drawing a map of February temperature, how might your map differ in color from this map.
Also: Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. has had 16 inches of snow so far this month, setting a new record for March….and bombing the Yellow River in China.