February: wild month of weather - Tucson News Now

February: wild month of weather

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The month started off with above normal temperatures through the 7th. For the thirteenth time in February, first since 2009, the first seven days had highs 70° or warmer. The average temperature of 57.6° ranks as 14th warmest (tied with 1987) first seven days of February.

Source: National Weather Service - Tucson

Near normal temperatures on the 8th before a winter storm pushed through the area on the morning of the 9th. The snow level dropped to around 4000 with up to 3" of snow in and around Vail. Another winter storm moved through the area on the 11th with snow levels down as low as 3500 feet. Highs through the 12th were in the 50s with lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

 

Temperatures stayed below normal on the 14th and 15th then were above normal from the 15th through the 18th.

 

The 3rd winter storm of the month moved through the area on the 20th. This system had the lowest snow level of the three storms which produced widespread snow across the metro area. Snowfall totals ranged widely across the area from a trace to 3" with localized higher amounts of 4". The snow suspended play at the World Golf Championships Match Play, that was being held up in Dove Mountains, on the 20th and delayed the start of play on the 21st as the snow slowly melted. It remained very chilly on the 21st and 22nd with highs in the 50s. After a warm up into the lower to mid 60s on the 23rd, a cold front brought much colder temperatures back to the area on the 24th, along with strong gusty winds.

 

The remainder of the month was below normal with overnight lows in the upper 20s to the lower 30s.

 

Temperature extremes for the month ranged from a high of 75° on the 2nd and 16th to a low of 29° on the 11th. The monthly average temperature of 50.8° is 4.5° below normal and ranks as the 21st coldest February on record.

 

Rainfall amounts across the metro area for the month, using several sources like rainlog.org the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, ranged from 0.30" to 1.50". The International airport, which is the official recording location for Tucson, recorded 0.79", which is slightly below normal. Even though below normal, it still ranks as the 49th wettest February on record. The 2" of snow reported in and around the Tucson International Airport ranks as the 6th snowiest February day on record.

 

February 2013 stats

Month

Normal

Departure

Average high temperature

64.3°

68.5°

- 4.2°

Average low temperature

37.4°

42.2°

- 4.8°

Average temperature

50.8°

55.3°

- 4.5°

Precipitation

0.79"

0.86"

- 0.07"

2012-13 Water Year rainfall (Oct-Feb)

2.74"

4.19"

- 1.45"


Winter 2012-2013

 

The forecast for winter 2012-13, issued by the Climate Prediction Center back in mid-November 2012, called for enhanced probabilities of above normal temperatures and equal chances of above, normal or below normal precipitation. That temperature forecast did not pan out as Tucson recorded the 40th coldest winter on record (tied with 1973) with an average temperatures of 51.4°. Temperature extremes for the winter ranged from 81 degrees on December 5th & January 22nd to a low of 17 degrees on January 17th.

 

Precipitation amounts across the metro area for the winter season, using several sources like rainlog.org, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, generally ranged between two and four inches. Officially, the International airport recorded 2.78" which is slightly above normal and ranks as the 39th wettest Winter on record..

Winter 2012-2013 stats

Season

Normal

Departure

Average high temperature

64.5°

66.2°

- 1.7°

Average low temperature

38.2°

40.3°

- 2.1°

Average temperature

51.4°

53.2°

- 1.8°

Precipitation

2.78"

2.73"

+ 0.05"

# of days with daily lows 32° or colder

23

11

+ 12


2013

2013 has definitely been colder than normal with a two month average temperature of 50.3° which is 3.7° below normal and ranks as the 23rd coldest January-February on record. This is in stark to 2012 when Tucson recorded the 14th warmest first two months on record with an average temperature of 55.6°. Precipitation at the airport is slightly below normal with 1.60" being recorded.


Looking ahead into March

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts equal chances for above or below normal temperatures and slightly enhanced probabilities for below normal precipitation.

 

Daily normals | Daily records

Normal monthly high temperature

74.1°

Normal monthly low temperature

46.2°

Normal monthly temperature

60.1°

Record high temperature

99° on March 26, 1988

Record low temperature

20° on March 4, 1965

Warmest March (avg.)

66.7° in 2004

Coldest March (avg.)

51.5° in 1973

Normal rainfall

0.73"

Wettest March day

1.42" on March 25, 1903

Wettest March

3.88" in 1905

Driest March

0.00" in 1984/1956/1933/1928

Record March snowfall

6.0" in 1922

 

 

The number of daylight hours will increase from 11 hours 32 minutes on the 1st to 12 hours 30 minutes on the 31st, a gain of 58 minutes.

 

Looking ahead into Spring 2013

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts enhanced probabilities for both above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Short term drought conditions across the metro area are likely to deteriorate during the 2nd half of meterological spring.

 

 

Normal high temperature

82.6°

Normal low temperature

52.9°

Normal seasonal temperature

67.7°

Warmest Spring (avg)

72.0° in 1989

Coldest Spring (avg)

59.0° in 1905

Normal Spring rainfall

1.27"

Wettest Spring

7.43" in 1905

Driest Spring

0.01" in 1959

 

 

The vernal equinox, otherwise known as the beginning of spring, will occur on March 20th at 4:02 AM when the sun crosses into the northern hemisphere.

 

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