Friday, March 18, 2011

February 2011 Revisited

Compared to historical averages, February in Hood River was cooler, less sunny, and average in both precipitation and wind.

February was one of those months that started off one way, and ended up the opposite. In this case, it started out unseasonably warm and dry, setting records, almost Spring-like. That got everybody's hopes up, including plants that started blooming weeks before they normally would. And, of course, that set the stage for how the month ended up: arctic air moved in, setting record lows, with some snow and heavy rain to top it all off.

Overall, the average temperature of 37.5° was slightly cooler than long term averages (38.0°), and also cooler than the more recent (2001-2010) average of 39.8°.

Solar radiation at HOXO averaged 172 Ly/day, compared to an average February of 187 Ly/day.

Precipitation totaled 3.64" for the month, which was pretty darn close to average (3.84"). We had 4.5" of snow for the month, less than the long term average of 7.3".

The 24 hour average wind speed for February was 1.7 mph, compared to the historical average of 1.8 mph. The high wind gust at my station was 33 mph on Feb 22.

The high heat index for the month was 57°, and the low wind chill was 6°. Barometric pressure peaked at 30.78", with a low of 29.52.

It was a busy month for setting local weather records: 6 total. On 2/5, the low of 46° set a new "high low" (previous 43° in 1961). The next day, the low of 48° set another high low (previous 45° in 1961). These were, as mentioned above, during the Warm Part of February.

Then, on 2/25, the Cold Part of February kicked in, setting a "low high" record of 27° (previous 31° in 1962). This was followed on 2/26 by TWO temperature records on one day: the low of 8° (previous record 11° in 1962), and the "low high" of 31° (previous 35° in 1993).

Finally, on 2/28, the official rain total of 0.99" barely squeaked by the old record of 0.98" set in 2009. My station had 1.42", for what that's worth.

The tabular data below is from my home weather station.
To view its February 2011 monthly summary and graphs at Weather Underground, click here.

The "historical average" numbers for temperature and rainfall are from the Hood River MCAREC data. Historical wind average is from my station's 2001 to 2010 data. Note that average wind speeds include all 24 hours of the day and night, which is why they are way lower than daytime peak winds. In addition, the wind speed at this station is considerably lower than on the Columbia River.

HighLowAverageHistorical Average
Temperature (F) 57
Wind (mph)33

Rainfall (in)1.42

3.64 (total)

Ready for Spring? All you have to do is dream...