From the ABC 7 Weather team

Fickle February

January 29, 2012 - 11:15 AM
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The first of two weekend cold fronts has dropped temperatures a bit, but brought no rain or snow.  The second front will come through later today with maybe a sprinkle or flurry.

This Afternoon:  Sunny, Increasing Clouds, Sprinkles Possible

Highs: 46-50 | Wind: SW 10-20 mph

Tonight: Sprinkles or Flurries,, Windy

Lows: 28-33 | Wind: W 10-15/G 30 mph

Monday: Mostly Sunny & Seasonably Cool

Highs: 45-48 | Wind: W 5-10 mph

There will be no photo finish as January winds down.  With the month already running over 4 degrees above normal, the prospect of 63 degrees on its last day assures a balmy entry in the history books.  Snowfall has been miniscule even if rainfall has been close to normal.  But what of February, traditionally the second chillest and second snowiest of the three winter months?  The forecast for the first few days of the new month shows no real break in the "spring" with highs in the mid 60s on Wednesday and slightly cooler air toward week's end.  There is, however, the potential for some storm developement by late Friday night.

A look back at our Februarys reveals catastrophic snowstorms and biting cold to some years when nary a flake nor a thermometer fell. Keeping in mind that the month's average snowfall is 4.8 inches, we had exactly 0.5 inches last year and just 0.1 inches in 2009.  Sandwiched between those years was the infamous Snowmageddon event of 2010 when we were walloped with 32.1 inches.  Washingtonians with long memories know to fear the Presidents' Day holiday as a prime time for snowy mayhem.  Recall the Februarys of 1979 (30.6 inches), 1983 (21.0 inches), 1996 (15.2 inches), and 2003 (28.7 inches).  Of course, amid the whiteouts have been paltry years like 2008 when a mere inch fell.  

Last February was mostly snowless, and followed a January which, like this year, was much warmer than normal.  We will have to wait and see which way notoriously fickle February goes in 2012

Speaking of snow, today could feature a few errant flakes later on as a cold front passes through the region.  Look for mostly sunny skies this morning and increasing cloudiness in the afternoon,  Winds will pick up significantly, especially in the overnight hours.  Enjoy a Sunday of near 50 degrees! 

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