Today marks the fifth time we’ve seen 50 degree temperatures in Rockford this month.
Tomorrow’s projected 54° high will make bring our final total to six times for the month.Believe it or not, there has been only one other January with more 50 degree days and you have to go all the way back to 1933!
There have been only four Januaries with 5 or more 50° days which shows how out of the ordinary this weather has been.
On Sunday, at the parking lot of the grocery store, a man approached me and said “Eric, do you think we’ll get any more snow storms?” I told him “Yes, but the chance will be going down as we head into February.” What does February and March look like? Well, let’s take the similar Januaries (1933, 1934, and 1973) as examples.
First, let’s look at what’s typical from this point forward. Looking at the 101 year climate record, we should expect 12.23 inches of snow from here on out. But that’s what’s normal. We know that this winter has NOT been that way.
February and March 1973: 7.8″ of snow
February and March 1934: 3.3″ of snow
February and March 1933: 17.0″ of snow
Now, even though two out of the three years had below-average snowfall, I found one interesting thing: The snows that did fall came in bigger batches. This means that the ‘once every week’ snows don’t occur. Instead, the snows came from bigger storm systems, spread farther apart!
As far as temperatures go, it’s almost unanimous: we’ll get closer to normal for February and March. But keep in mind, our average high and low temperatures will be rising more than a degree each day beginning in the last week of February.
My take from this research is to expect more of the same. Sure, there will be bouts of cold (and even Arctic) air. And we will get some more snow…we just have to have an eye out for the random snowstorm that could come in the next six weeks! -ES
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Coming up Thursday, we’ll take a close look at the Groundhog’s Day Blizzard, a billion dollar disaster for the U.S. I hope you’ll join us as we sit down with WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling to see how this compared to the biggest snows he remembers and Ed Fenelon, Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service, as recalls the efforts by forecasters. A special you won’t want to miss, Thursday night at ten.
Posted under climate/climate change, snow