February is behind us now and winter-weary Iowans are likely glad to see the new page appear on the calendar, along with the arrival of the first day of Spring on Sunday, March 20th. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says the month started off with a wicked winter storm that hit on February 1st and buried a large chunk of Iowa in snowdrifts.
Hillaker says if it wasn’t the worst blizzard for the southeastern and east-central region of Iowa, it was close to the worst, as the storm included up to 20-inches of snow and 60 mile an hour wind gusts. “Just about as bad as it gets as far as snowstorms,” he says. Hillaker says February wrapped up being slightly above average in terms of snowfall and precipitation.
On the temperature end, the month ended up slightly colder than normal, by about one degree. Hillaker says it’s the fourth winter in a row where Iowa’s gotten above-normal amounts of snowfall and it’s the third winter in a row Iowa’s been colder than normal. Now that we’re into March, he says the forecast for the new month isn’t much different from the old month.
The six-to-ten day outlook and the two-week forecast are much the same, Hillaker says, calling for below-normal temperatures. He says the long-range forecast is predicting a slight chance for a wetter, colder-than-normal Spring, but he admits, the odds are almost 50-50.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City