State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says February ended up being one of the coldest in 18 years. Hillaker says February temperatures averaged eight-and-a-half degrees colder than normal, ranking it the 14th coldest on record and the coldest since 1989. Hillaker says the second month of this year will be one remembered for breaking a long string of warm months as it was Iowa’s coldest month since December of 2000.
February was also wetter than normal. Hillaker says the big ice and snow storm in the last weekend of the month led to an average of an inch and three-quarters of precipitation, about three-quarters of an inch more than usual. It ranked as the 15th wettest February among 135 years of records. With warmer weather the snow starting to melt, some wonder if things will get to wet in the state. Hillaker says flooding is a possibility.
Hillaker says it’s a possibility as there’s as much as five inches of water stored in some of the snowpack on the ground right now. But Hillaker says is lacking in the forecast and that may keep it from flooding. Hillaker says we usually don’t get severe flooding just from snow melt alone, and if the rain stays away, that might keep us from getting flooding.