Greater Boston, North Shore and Metro West: We have lived through an historic month of weather here in the Boston area during the month of February 2015. Although the blitz of snow, especially during the first half of the month, dominated the headlines as we endured record breaking snow totals it has also been a month of very cold temperatures as wave after wave of arctic air pushed down from Canada through the month.
Boston recorded nearly 65 inches of snow in February. That easily made it the snowiest February on record and for that matter the snowiest month ever on record here in Boston. Snow was in the air an incredible 19 days out of 28 in Boston and the surrounding area, although we have trended to lesser amounts over the last two weeks of the month. The snowiest Winter on record is 1995-96 when 107.6 inches fell. As of today we stand about 5.6 inches below that number. It is a fairly good bet the record will be broken as we still have a good many days of this pattern to get through despite turning the page to March tomorrow. I hate to mention it but the early returns on the March outlook is for more below normal cold and potential storminess but it remains to be seen how much snow is in the cards next month.
So just how cold was it in February? Lets take a look at Boston first. Below normal temperatures were recorded 27 out of the 28 days. The only day with above normal readings was on the 22nd when Boston temperatures were a whopping 1 degree over normal. We failed to hit 40 degrees, reaching 39 on the 22nd, had readings of -10 degrees or more below normal on 17 days with 4 of those -20 degrees or more below normal. The lowest reading in Boston was -3 below zero with two mornings of below zero recordings for the month. Overall the temperatures ran a gaudy -12.7 degrees below normal for the month. February 2015 goes into the books as the 2nd coldest on record only behind February 1934. For those of you that heat with electricity it is without question you have been stunned with your bill of late.
Since this writer covers mainly the Boston area, North Shore and the western suburbs why not take a look at some of the numbers outside of Boston. For example in Beverly temperatures were about -12.7 degrees below normal with significantly more sub zero readings than what was recorded in Boston. Seven times the mercury fell below zero at the Beverly Airport with the lowest reading -8 on the morning of the 14th. Temperatures failed to reach 40 degrees there as well with the highest reading 39 on the 22nd.
In Bedford it was even colder, which is to be expected since the recording station at the Hanscom Field is further inland and lies in a valley. Temperatures there were slightly over -16 degrees below average with an incredible 11 days of sub zero mornings the coldest of which was a -15 on the 24th. Other notable lows were -14 on the 14th and -12 on the 21st. Highest temperature was 39, again on the 22nd of the month. Unfortunately I do not have the final snow totals for either Beverly or Bedford but they have both recorded record breaking snowfall as well.
Looking at the weather in the short term it is shaping up to be the nicest weekend we have had since early January. Although Saturday morning was yet another frigid start the mercury is expected to climb to near 30 degrees this afternoon under sunny skies and light winds. That is still some 10 degrees below our normal high for the end of February but it will feel really pleasant out there because we have become so conditioned to the frigid temperatures. Then, another cold night lies ahead Saturday night under mainly clear skies. Temperatures crumble to the single digits once again throughout the inland neighborhoods to the low teens along the shore. Some of the interior valleys could have sub zero readings by Sunday morning.
Sunday begins partly sunny and cold, clouds thicken quickly by afternoon. A fast moving disturbance is expected to bring a period of snow to the area by late in the day and Sunday night, possibly a few inches, before winding down very early Monday morning. The National Weather Service has a Winter Storm Watch in effect for Suffolk County and points south and southwest of the city where 4 to 7 inches of snow could fall there. North and west of the city amounts lessen to 3 to 5 inches where the weather service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Essex and Middlesex County.
Monday turns windy with highs in the 30s. Another storm impacts the area by mid week with the possibility of snow initially, followed by a wintry mix then to rain before ending by Thursday. Many details need to be worked out on that scenario.
March roars in like a lion, hopefully it goes out like a lamb.