February was the second month in the past four that has experienced below average temperatures in the D.C. area.
With 2012 being the hottest year on record for the D.C. area, all signs were pointing to more above-average temperature trends to continue. This was the case when January 2013 ended 4.3 degrees above normal, but cooler weather has been the story since. Temperatures were below normal for the second time in the past 4 months in February, and through early March, temperatures have continued to buck the trend, at 1.4 degrees below normal for the month through the first 10 days.
February ended 0.7 degrees below normal for Reagan National airport, with an average temperature of 38.3 degrees, slightly below the normal average of 39 degrees for the month. With temperatures so close to the normal, it didn't rank in the top 50 coolest or warmest months since 1871. It was basically middle of the road.
- Months with below average temperatures since January 2010
With temperatures above to well-above average over the past few years, it is significant that 2 of the past 4 months have experienced the opposite. Since January 2010, only 7 out of 38 months have seen temperatures below normal. That means temperatures in D.C. have only been below normal 18% of the time.
Through the first 10 days of March, temperatures have averaged over a degree below normal. Temperatures look to continue to be below average through at least the middle of the month with the exception of this past weekend and today. Only time will tell if cooler temperatures will hang around our area in 2013, but climate records over the past few years show this as highly unlikely. Enjoy it while it lasts!
We will be sure to post an update when the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) publishes their findings on what February ranked for temperature and precipitation in the U.S. and globally.