February in Review: A look back at last month’s weather

Weather

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — We’ve made it to March 2021, hard to believe since it still feels like March 2020 thanks to the pandemic. But on a lighter note, it means February is in our rearview mirror, as well as meteorological Winter! February didn’t hold any punches despite being the shortest month of the year. Between brutal cold, snow, heavy rain and even some flooding, it was quite a month. Lets round it all up in this months weather review.

Temperatures

Cold? No it wasn’t just you. We felt the chill of a broken polar vortex last month. Overnight lows in the single digits and highs only into the teens and twenties, meant it certainly felt like winter out there. Both Beckley and Bluefield, our two local climate sites, saw monthly temperatures below average for February. Bluefield not wanting to be outdone by Beckley made sure it was the coldest at 4.6-degrees below average versus Beckley’s 1.7-degrees below average.

Authors Note: The polar vortex did NOT come to West Virginia, we only saw the results of it being disrupted which allowed cold air from Canada to spill into our area. If the actual polar vortex made it here, you would have thought a new ice age had come it would have been so cold.

Some notable temperatures we saw this month:

  • Feb. 2: Beckley recorded a high of 24-degrees (Coldest High of the Month/Winter), Bluefield recorded a high of 22-degrees (Coldest of the Month)
    • A high of 24-degrees was also recorded on Dec. 25, 2020 at Beckley
  • Feb. 8: Beckley recorded a low of 9-degrees (Coldest of the Month/Winter)
  • Feb. 21: Bluefield recorded a low of 10-degrees (Coldest of the Month)
  • Feb. 24: Beckley recorded a high of 65-degrees (Highest of the Month/Winter)
  • Feb. 28: Bluefield recorded a high of 65-degrees (Highest of the Month/Winter)

Beckley, WV

Feb. 2021 average temperature departures for Beckley, WV

Bluefield, WV

Feb. 2021 average temperature departures for Bluefield, WV

Precipitation

February was a wet month, and no we’re not just talking about the rain that happened at the end of the month. Out of the 28 days in the month of February, only three were completely dry in Bluefield, and only four were completely dry in Beckley. Both cities overall were above average for liquid precipitation but, only Bluefield ended up above average for snowfall.

Days with notable precipitation:

  • Feb. 2, Feb. 7: Bluefield recorded 3.4-inches of snow (Highest One Day Totals in Feb.)
  • Feb. 7: Beckley recorded 4.0-inches of snow (Highest One Day Total in Feb.)
  • Feb. 27: Bluefield recorded 1.24-inches of rain (Highest One Day Total in Feb.)
    • Widespread flooding occurred as a result of heavy rain including this day continuing into March. Storm total for Bluefield topped out at 2.61-inches.
  • Feb. 28: Beckley recorded 1.05-inches of rain (New Daily Record/Highest One Day Total in Feb.)
    • Widespread flooding occurred as a result of heavy rain including this day continuing into March. Storm total for Beckley topped out at 2.81-inches.

WINTER UPDATE

In the world of weather, Winter is defined as Dec. 1 to Feb. 28. Mainly for the sake of convenience and record keeping. So, in our eyes Winter has come to an end and we can now look back and see how it shaped up, and by all means it was the most winter-like Winter we’ve seen in years.

By the numbers, Winter 2020-21 was below average for temperatures in Beckley and Bluefield. This is in part due to the very active weather pattern we had from January through February. All those dips in the jet stream allowed a lot of cold air to make their way south this year, see my previous note about the Polar Vortex.

Along with cold, our active pattern brought a lot of precipitation. Bluefield nearly doubled their average winter snowfall, while Beckley got closest to their normal average snowfall for the first time since 2011. If you thought this winter was bad, well I hate to say it but in reality it was pretty much just plain old average, it’s just the first time in a long time that it’s been that way!

This brings February’s “Month in Review” to a close, a big shout out to folks at NWS Charleston, NWS Blacksburg, and the NOAA Regional Climate Centers who provided all of the data you see here. I’ll see you next month for March’s “Month in Review”!

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