NOAA’s monthly State Of The Climate Report has been issued for February, 2014. It’s a very mixed bag with a wide variety of weather events that took place over the USA. February is traditionally a very transitional month across North America with large-scale winter weather events on the heels of regional severe weather outbreaks not uncommon. I’ll let the report speak for itself, but there are a few items that caught my attention:
- Contiguous USA drought conditions improved only slightly in parts of OK, TX, CA and several other states remain under “exceptional” drought conditions.
- AK had its 8th warmest winter on record. During February, it was not uncommon for many stations across KS, OK, TX and neighboring states to be 20F – 30F colder that many stations in central AK.
- Thanks to long-term cold snaps, the Great Lakes had their 2nd largest ice cover on record by early March.
- Though severe weather events did occur, they were comparatively low impact events and were located primarily in the southern states.
As is often the case, I have sometimes remind people who take a lukewarm passing interest in weather that a report such as this is only a small snapshot of weather events over a short time span and may or may not reflect long-term climate change events. The longer record are kept, the more likely they are to be broken. Considering we live at the bottom of an ocean of air which is a very dynamic and ever-changing fluid, monthly extremes are to be expected. Long-term record over many years, decades, and even centuries are another matter.
Here’s to an interesting March…and if you’ve not done your preparedness for the coming severe weather season, please do so as soon as possible.