February Could be Coldest Month on Record in Greater Utica Area
The month of February is on track to become one of our coldest on record, if not the coldest ever recorded. The statistics are based on records which date back to 1900, according to weather statistics from CNYWeather.com and Weather Warehouse.
So far this month, overnight lows have dipped below zero 15 times and forecasters are predicting the mercury could dip into negative numbers four or five more times. Those overnight lows have helped make this month abnormally frigid.
Currently, the coldest February on record was in 1979 when a mean temperature of 8 degrees was recorded at Griffis Airforce Base in Rome. The mean temperature is an average of the high and low temperatures each day throughout the month. An average mean temperature for our area in February is 23 degrees.
The mean temperature going into this final week of February is 12.3 degrees; but, the forecast for the next six days is expected to be well below average. A mean temperature of 6.25 degrees is predicted through this Saturday, which could bring the numbers down to near or below record levels.
One record we won't be breaking this February is for total snowfall.
So far this month, we've seen over 40 inches of snowfall. While that's more snow than the average February over the last 10 years, it pales in comparison to the 73 inches of snow we received back in February of 2007. The average total snowfall for our area over a complete season is in the 90 inch range; that year we saw 126.5 inches of snow. So far this year, our seasonal snowfall has reached 83 inches, with wintery, cold weather predicted into March.
Just for the Record
One final note: often times we hear from the 'Baby Boomers' who claim our winters are nothing like the winters back in the 70s. It turns out, things were pretty normal or even below average for that period; that is, with the exception of the first two winters of the decade. The total snowfall in the 1970-71 winter was 149 inches and an even more impressive 153 inches in 1971-72.
Click here to get the latest forecast from WIBX.