Friday, February 24, 2017

This Worthless Mid-Atlantic Region Winter: Record Monthly & Seasonal Warmth Overview (Updated with Additional New Rec High Temps)

**This entry was posted February 24, 2017.**

The view from the Navy Memorial in Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C., 12:02PM February 23, 2017.

I was heading to a 12:10PM dental appointment at Dental Bug.


February warm wave and winter drought update ... in a word, shit...

We remain in an intensifying late winter drought -- with the Baltimore/Washington corridor in D1 / moderate drought and larger parts of the region in D0 / abnormally dry conditions. In addition, there remains a complete and total lack of any seasonably cold air across much of the United States and Canada.

Temperature-wise, it is ridiculous. KIAD reached a daily record of 77F yesterday. KDCA and KBWI were at 77F and 75F, respectively, but those did not surpass their daily records of 78F each set in 1874. Today, temps were again in the mid-70s* but the daily records were 78F (KDCA/KBWI) and 79F (KIAD) and tomorrow's are the highest temperatures ever recorded in February, so they are out-of-reach (see below).

*Highs today reached 77F at KDCA and KIAD and 74F at KBWI. None of these were daily record highs.

Incidentally, Boston -- at KBOS (Logan Int'l Airport) -- reached 72F 73F this afternoon, surpassing the previous warmest high ever in February of 70F set coincidentally on the 24th in 1985.

A summer-like sky -- in late winter -- above the Spy Museum construction site at L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 2:11PM February 24, 2017.


The Baltimore/Washington area is now in the warmest February ever and among the warmest ever climatological winters (Dec. 1st - Feb. 28th/29th). Below is the climatological information for the three regional airport climate stations. It is adapted slightly (for formatting and style) from information give in the most recent Sterling (LWX) area forecast discussion (AFD).

I'm not going to bother with the precipitation (or, even worse, snowfall) deficit numbers for this entry. It is all too depressing anyway.

Mid-Atlantic drought index maps updated Feb. 21, 2017.


Warmest Februaries (average temperature) and the current February so far:

46.9F (1976)
45.2F (1990)
44.7F (1997)
44.3F (2012)
43.9F (1949)

February 2017 through the 23rd: 46.3F (2nd warmest)

44.0F (1976)
43.9F (1949)
43.3F (1890)
42.7F (1932)
42.6F (1909)

February 2017 through the 23rd: 43.0F (4th warmest)

42.1F (1990)
41.1F (1976)
41.0F (1998)
40.9F (2012)
40.5F (1997)

February 2017 through the 23rd: 43.6F (1st warmest)

Warmest Winters (Dec 1-Feb 28/29) and the current winter so far:

44.7F (1931-32)
44.3F (1889-90)
43.3F (2011-12)
43.2F (2001-02)
42.8F (1949-50)

Winter 2016-17 through Feb. 23rd: 43.4F (3rd warmest)

45.3F (1931-32)
44.4F (1889-90)
42.4F (1948-49)
41.9F (1949-50)
41.3F (1879-80)

Winter 2016-17 through Feb. 23rd: 40.1F (tied for 10th)

Keep in mind that prior to June 1950, Baltimore's climate station was downtown at the much warmer U.S. Custom House.

40.0F (2011-12)
39.7F (2001-02)
39.4F (1997-98)
39.0F (2015-16)
38.3F (1990-91)

Winter 2016-17 through Feb. 23rd: 40.4F (1st warmest)

Not this year: Sunrise through a snowy forest setting, Oakton, Va., January 8, 2010; photo by CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.


The all-time record warmest highs and warmest overnight lows in February are as follows:

84F Feb. 25, 1930
82F Feb. 28, 1948
79F Feb. 17, 1976

61F Feb. 17, 1891
60F Feb. 22, 1874
59F Feb. 20, 1939

83F Feb. 25, 1930
79F Feb. 24, 1985
78F Feb. 23, 1889

58F Feb. 17, 1891
57F Feb. 20, 1939
55F Feb. 14, 1949; Feb. 16, 1954; Feb. 24, 1985

79F Feb. 24, 1985; Feb. 25, 2000
75F Feb. 1, 2002; Feb. 17, 1976; Feb. 18, 2011; Feb. 29, 1972
74F Feb. 12, 1999; Feb. 27, 1997

55F Feb. 17, 1976
53F Feb. 18, 2011; Feb. 24, 1985; Feb. 24, 2017 (tentative; tied this morning)
52F Feb. 1, 1988; Feb. 8, 2017; Feb. 22, 1981; Feb. 23, 2017 (tentative; tied yesterday morning)

Updated 5:30PM 2/24/2017

Here is a map created by of the record highs for Feb. 24, 2017 and posted in this CWG entry.

Here are some factoids from that entry, although I cross-checked them with the relevant observation sites and corrected them as necessary:

KBOS: 73F, new all-time Feb record; surpassed previous all-time Feb. record by 3F.
KBUF: 71F, tying all-time Feb. record.
KCEF: 73F (Springfield, Mass.), new-all time Feb. record.
KALB: 74F (Albany, N.Y.), new all-time Feb. record; surpassed previous all-time Feb. record by 5F (which was, incidentally, set yesterday).
KLUK: 78F (Cincinnati): surpassing previous all-time Feb. record by 2F.
KDAY: 76F (Dayton): surpassing previous record.
KCMH: 78F (Columbus): surpassed previous record by 3F.

End of Update.

Tourists in their shorts at the corner of 7th St and Independence Ave SW, Washington, D.C., 1:29PM February 23, 2017.

I was walking to the office from the dentist. Yes, it is the start of -- if I can adapt a famous phrase -- "tourist season in monstrous infinity" -- in D.C.


Contextual information:

Temperature records for the Washington, D.C., area have been kept at Ronald Reagan National Airport (KDCA) since July 1941. Additional temperature records for the Washington, D.C., area date back to Jan. 1871.

Temperature records for the Baltimore, Md., area have been kept at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (KBWI) since June 1950. Additional temperature records for the Baltimore, Md., area date back to Jan. 1871.

Temperature records in the Dulles, Va., area have been kept at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD) since Jan. 1963.

Top ten least snowy winters in Washington, D.C., stretching back to 1888.



For the KBWI winter ranking, I looked at the Baltimore historical records here. I noticed that some of the numbers listed for the top five rankings in that file -- which is presumably the anointed official one -- differed from the LWX AFD list by 0.1F. The general page for LWX climate information is here.

OK, that's all for this entry.


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