February serves up warm and wet weather

Twice rainfall and temperatures neared record highs last month.

Twice the rainfall and temperatures nearing record high in February, gave locals hope that Shubenacadie Sam was right when he didn’t see his shadow – spring was on its way.

That could still be the case even though March 1 roared in with snow, following a mild and almost snow-less second month of the year.

Several systems remain active in the region, but local forecaster Ron Lakeman is calling for rain in the valley and mild conditions leading into next week.

Snow is predicted for higher elevations but southwesterly flows typically keep temperatures above freezing in the lower points, he added.

In his month-end report, Lakeman notes the bulk of February snow, 7 cm (centimetres) compared to the usual 25.7 cm, fell early, on Feb. 3.

High pressure dominated throughout the rest of the month, bringing 59 millimetres (mm) of rain, instead of the usual 28 mm. Those downpours carried February precipitation above the usual 26 cm, to 65 mm – but that doesn’t near the record high of 163 mm, documented in 1979.

Overall, February climate was mild with the average (mean) temperature 2.8 degrees above normal.

“For the second month in a row, no Arctic air made it into the area,” Lakeman said. “This led to above average temperatures most days with a prevailing valley wind out of the south, a northerly is more typical in February.”

A new daily high was set on Feb. 27 when mercury climbed to 14 C, breaking a 44-year record, but falling just short of the 14.3 C month high, recorded in 2010.

“Warmer temperatures and a predominantly northwesterly, or southwesterly, flow originated over the Pacific Ocean caused the majority of this month’s precipitation to fall as rain.”

Four-legged forecast predictions were a mixed bag on Feb. 2, this year’s Groundhog day. Ontario’s Wiarton Willie called for six more weeks of winter while Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring.