February is the shortest month of the year and so far has been the warmest of the winter according to state climatologist Harry Hillaker. He says February was milder than normal, something we haven’t seen in awhile.

Hillaker says the month was about three degrees above normal and 10 degrees above the same month last year, which was unusually cold. He says it was the first winter month so far this year to be above normal in average temperature. Hillaker says precipitation for February was down.

Hillaker says we had about three quarters of an inch of precipitation, which was below the average of 95-hundredths of an inch. Hillaker says the big storm Thursday doubled the statewide average for rain, otherwise the month would have been well below normal. The thunderstorm was also something that’s a little unusual for February.

Hillaker says in central Iowa you have a thunderstorm about every other year, while they are less common in northern Iowa. He says the Thursday storm was widespread across the state with hail and sleet, which makes it a little unusual.

Hillaker says we had about three inches of snow in February, which was "well below normal" for the month.