Posted: 10:05 PM 3/1/13
Updated: 5:19 PM 3/1/13
February of 2013 started very cold with temperatures only in the single digits for the morning low of the 1st, a Friday. Highs were actually in the evening and in the lower 20s as temperatures warmed overnight. The warming was ahead of an area of snow that brought 1 to 2" of snow to central Illinois on Saturday Morning, but that wasn't the only snow of the weekend. Another dusting fell during the morning hours of Super Bowl Sunday.
We'd start the first full weekend of February with some flurries on Monday, but nothing big happened. The afternoon had sunshine and temperatures in the 40s with Effingham getting to 49. Tuesday was cooler, around 40, and a bit breezier, but still fairly sunny. Wednesday was also a mild (by February Standards) day with hit and miss clouds. Highs were in the middle 30s.
Thursday brought a chance of rain that held off for the majority of the day. Therefore, temperatures surged into the lower 50s across east central Illinois. Though the morning of Friday started with some isolated flurries, and the clouds held for the rest of the day. Highs were only in the middle 30s. Saturday was a sunny an beautiful day, but the weekend would end with a rainy Sunday.
A lot of wind arrived for Monday with gusts as high as 50 mph, but the afternoon brough quickly calming conditions. Most of the area was under a wind advisory through the majority of the day. Tuesday was a calmer day with highs in the upper 30s and lower 40s. Wednesday was also a decent day with highs in the middle to upper 40s. We'd return to the wind on Thursday though, with speeds up to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph.
A few flurries kicked off Friday, the 15th, but the colder temperatures were noticed more. Highs were only in the lower 30s. Both days of the weekend would have morning lows in the middle teens while Saturday's highs were in the middle to upper 20s and Sunday reached the middle 30s. Both days had scattered clouds.
Monday, the 18th, started farily nice, but the winds cranked up in the early afternoon and the rain moved in. Rain stuck around through the evening hours. As temperatures went from the 50s on Monday, to the 20s on Tuesday, we had a bit of light snow. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday were calm, but cold days. Wednesday actually started in the middle single digits with wind chills down to around ten below zero.
On Thursday a large wintry system move into central Illinois. Around noon a large area of snow arrived. Instead of slowly getting strong. The snowfall hit very strong and caught many people by surprise at how strong it started. That evening, the snow changed to freezing rain and caused issues through the night and into the next morning. Snow totals were in the 3 to 7 inch range generally and ice totals were over 0.1".
The following weekend was very calm. Temperatures hung out in the 30s for highs and around 20 for lows. Partly cloudy skies were around through the weekend with just a gentle 15 mph wind. Monday also wasn't a bad day with highs in the middle 40s and plenty of sunshine.
Monday night and Tuesday morning we started to see more wintry weather arrive. We had a brief bout of freezing rain on Tuesday morning and a small wintry mix throughout the day. Some places saw up to 2" during the early evening, but mot of those places were along I-55. Things were much worse to our northwest. Wednesday had more snow with some places seeing up to another 1/2" that day. The last day of the month saw a few more snowflakes with temperatures actually above freezing, eeaning they never actually stuck.
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Illinois finish below average on temperatures, with an average temperature of 29.3 degrees. That's about 1.5 degrees below average. There was also an average precipitation of 2.7 inches, which is 0.6 inches above average. Some places in northeastern Illinois saw over 20 inches of snow for the month.
The U.S. finished with an average temperature of 34.8 degrees F, which is 0.8 degrees F above the 20th century average. Precipitation was near normal with an average of 2.00", which is just 0.02" below the long term average. However, there were mny regionally wet and dry extremes.
February also wrapped up the 2012-2013 winter season. That season finished with an average temperature of 34.3 degrees F, 1.9 degrees below the 20th century average. Snow cover for this year was 1.3 million square miles, 127,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average. This marked the 15th largest seasonal snow cover extent since records began in 1966.
You can see the significant events for Winter and February on this map and read the full report here.
February 2013 finished as the ninth warmest on record, 1.03 degrees F above the 20th century average. This helped the winter season (December-February) finish as the 15th warmesr on record, 0.92 degrees F above normal. You can read the full report on February and The Winter months here or check out the February 2013 Climate Anomalies and events map.
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