February Climate Summary

North Dakota February Climate Summary

Precipitation:

The percent of normal precipitation in North Dakota showed high variations across the state during the month of February (Figure 1).  Some locations in the central and northern portion of the state recorded well above average precipitation, whereas much of southwestern and many parts of northeastern North Dakota were quite dry.  Although the month did at least bring some locations above average precipitation during the month, the combination of the past several months being dry and with most of the eastern part of the state recording little snowfall in February, the U.S. Drought Monitor continues to list 68% of North Dakota in either Abnormally Dry or Moderate Drought conditions.

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Temperature:

After two consecutive months with above average temperatures, February concluded climatological winter on a very cold note (Figure 2).   The NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network) average temperature was 7.0 degrees which is 8.7 degrees below normal. That would rank the month as tied for the 42nd coldest February since records began in 1895.  The coldest day was on February 22 when several record low temperatures were set.  One of those records was in Bottineau with a low temperature of -32°.  The NDAWN station 14 miles west of Bottineau recorded a low of -36° that morning.  That was the coldest temperature measured at any of the NDAWN stations during the winter of 2014-2015.

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Daryl Ritchison