Frigid February


Only 14 times in the past 136 years, dating back to the start of official weather records for Baltimore in 1871, has the average temperature for the first half of February been below 30F. So the frigid February of 2007 is certainly one to take note of. In fact, with an average temperature of just 24.9F through the 16th, this has been the second coldest start to February ever. The coldest Februarys on record in Baltimore:

Year Avg. Temp.
1. 1934 24.3
(2007) (24.9) as of 2/16
2. 1979 25.6
3. 1895 26.2
4. 1905 27.3
1978 27.3

The cold has also been accompanied by plenty of brisk winds. Two days have had wind gusts over 40 mph, 10 of the first 16 days have had a peak wind gust of at least 30 mph and all but one day this month has had a gust of at least 20 mph.

The cold, however, has not produced very much snow, with just 4.2″ measured so far at our official National Weather Service station at BWI-Marshall.

Changes may be on the way, though, with computer models indicating a shift in the upper level winds from northwest to southwest for a good part of the final week of the month. The chart displayed here is a map of the forecast jet stream for Tuesday, February 20th, showing winds up around 37,000 feet. The purple shaded area is the jet stream core with 184 mph winds screaming over Texas, Arkansas and northern Mississippi, pushing a milder weather pattern toward the mid Atlantic and southeastern United States.

Tom Tasselmyer

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