March 31, 2015

February one of the coldest months in over a decade

Many Iowans are looking forward to spring and warmer weather as the month of February comes to an end. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says it appears the statewide average temperature for the month will be around 12.8 degrees. “That would rank as the eighth coldest February in 142 years of state records,” Hillaker says. “The last colder February was way back in 1979. The last colder calendar month (than this February) was December of 2000.”

The normal average temperature for February in Iowa is around 24. Although February has been the coldest month of this winter, Hillaker says December and January also had well below normal temperatures. “That doesn’t happen very often where all three mid-winter months are below normal, let alone well below normal like this winter,” Hillaker says. The three months combined make this the ninth coldest winter in Iowa history.

This has also been a “snowier than normal” winter for the state, but snowfall totals range from just one foot in areas of west-central Iowa to four or more feet of snow in sections of eastern Iowa. February has been (was) the snowiest month of this winter. Hillaker says a statewide average of 14.5 inches of snow fell in February, which is more than double the usual amount of 6.8 inches.