Icy February meets March ‘lion’

February's weather, by the numbers

February's weather, by the numbers National Weather Service graphic

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WALLA WALLA — February’s icy weather has carried right into March, which is living up to its “in like a lion” reputation. Whether it goes out like a lamb remains to be seen.

Looking back at February, aided by a wave of arctic air, temperatures ranged from below or well-below normal for much of the month. Overall, high temperatures averaged about 40 degrees, 6 degrees below normal, and lows averaged about 30 degrees, about 2 degrees below normal.

The low 7 degrees on Feb. 6. The warmest day was Feb. 12, when the high was 58 degrees. There were 12 days total when temperatures were at or below freezing.

Despite what seemed like an abundance of ice, rain and snow, February came up short for precipitation with a total of 1.31 inches, a mark .45 inches below normal. Measurable precipitation, at least 0.01 inch, fell on 17 days with the heaviest amount being 0.19 inches on Feb. 24. There were also six days with measurable snowfall which totaled 14 inches overall, according to the National Weather Service.

The rain and snow brought the year’s total precipitation to 2.26 inches, which is 2.03 inches below normal. Since October, water year precipitation has been 5.35 inches, 5.96 inches below normal.

The highest wind gust was 50 mph on Feb. 17 measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

According to the long-range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, near-normal temperatures and rainfall are expected in the coming month. This will mean normal highs will begin rising from 50 degrees to 59 degrees by the end of the month. Normal lows are expected to go from 34 to 40 degrees while precipitation is expected to total 2.30 inches.

And for those who are sick of winter, take heart. March 21 will mark the official start of spring.

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