If you thought that February felt a lot like January, well they were both cold! Both months were below normal precipitation and we ended with similar monthly average temperatures for both months. The difference is that the temperature was above average for January but below average for February.
The average daily high for February was 40.1 degrees, 4.2 degrees below normal. The average overnight low was 21.1, 0.8 degrees below normal. This gave us a monthly mean temperature of 30.6, 2.5 degrees below normal. 29.7 was the monthly mean temperature for January. The highest temperature for February was 70 degrees on the 27th. The lowest temperature was -1 the morning of the 3rd. There was one temperature record set during February. The overnight low of 51 on the 14th set a new record high low for that
date. The old record was 49 set in 1954. February 2017 was our second warmest February on record and was over 14 degrees warmer than this February, which may have contributed to it feeling so cold this February. The warmest February on record was 1954 with a monthly mean temperature of 46.3 degrees. The coldest February on record was in 1979 with a monthly mean temperature of 17.6, 13 degrees colder than this year!
Once again, monthly precipitation in February fell below the long term average. This is the fourth consecutive month that precipitation was below average and 8 out of the last ten months have had below average precipitation. Average precipitation for February is 1.12 inches. Milford Lake received 0.64 inches and Junction City 0.54 inches. Average precipitation for January and February is 1.77 inches. 2018, through the end of February, has seen 1.07 inches in Junction City and 0.92 inches at Milford Lake. The wettest February on record was in 2001 when 2.99 inches of precipitation was recorded. The driest February is an honor held by 1963, 1991, and 2006 when no measurable precipitation was recorded.
While we had enough snow and other frozen precipitation to make driving and walking treacherous, we were still well below long term average February snowfall. Average snowfall for February is 4.7 inches. The Junction City area recorded 2.3 inches during the month. Year to date
we´ve seen 7.7 inches of snow in the Junction City area which is roughly half of the long term seasonal average through February of 14.1 inches.
March can be a cruel month with weather taking extreme mood swings on a regular basis. It also brings us the official start of spring along with hopes of warmer weather to come! With lengthening hours of daylight the temperatures respond favorably. Average daily high on the first of March is 49 and by the end of the month we are up to 61 degrees. Average overnight lows range from 25 on the 1st to 37 on the 31st. Early March has certainly been acting lion like so we´ll see if we can exit the month on a more lamb like basis! As we head into our normally wetter part of the year March traditionally shows us a noticeable increase in precipitation. Long term average March precipitation is 2.34 inches with much of that coming as rain. Average March snowfall is only 3.1 inches.
County Extension Agent, Ag & Natural Resources