February 2000 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

This Month's Daily Statistics


SUBJECT: Warm, but no cigar
         2000 February and 1999-2000 Winter St. Cloud Weather Summary

With the passage of Leap Day and the accompanying temperature records, the official meteorological winter (Dec 1-Feb 29) has passed, and for the third straight year, it wasn't much of a winter. The average temperature of 18.7 degrees was more than six and a half degrees milder than normal. This was the mildest winter since way back in.....uh two years ago. The winter of 1997-1998 still ranks as the second warmest winter on record with an average temperature of 23.0 degrees. However, this winter did beat last winter for warmth (average temperature of the 1998-1999 winter: 18.1 degrees).

We are also ahead of last year in the low number of below zero lows. So far this year, we've had only 25 of them, the 5th lowest total on record. Last year, there were 29 below zero lows. Of course, the fewest total on record was set two years ago with only 16 in 1997-1998.

February 2000 in St. Cloud again was extremely mild, averaging nearly seven degrees above normal. Was this a record? Actually, it was an arctic blast compared to the past two Februaries. February 1998 was the warmest February on record (29.6 degrees) while February 1999 ranked as the 7th warmest February on record (25.0 degrees). We had to endure a February with only an average temperature of 22.1 degrees this year. While the previous two Februaries produced a grand total of one night with a low below zero, we had to "endure" through 5 whole nights of below zero lows this past month. What is the average number of nights with a below zero low in February? How about 12.3!

The one feature which did distinguish this February from the previous years was the snowfall. St. Cloud picked up 8.4 inches of snow this month, nearly an inch and a half above normal and the most February snow since 1994 when 11.5 inches fell. The combined January and February snowfall gave St. Cloud just about a normal snow cover by the middle of February. Of course, this strip of deep snow helped to keep the ground cold enough to produce last week's 5 straight days of cloudiness, including four straight days of thick fog. This snow also helped us to catch up to last year in seasonal snowfall, although we are still more than 8 inches behind for the year.

So what do all of these numbers really mean to us? We have had three extraordinarily mild winters consecutively. We haven't had a low temperature colder than -25 since December 26, 1996. In the past three years, we have had only 4 days with a high temperature below zero, none coming this year. We have only had four days with a single day snowfall more than 4 inches since January 1997. We had basically only 6 consecutive weeks of snow cover this year and have seen the ground bare both in late December and February for the third straight year. Finally, this was the second consecutive years of forecast cold and snowy winters in Minnesota. Hopefully, long-range forecasters will be a bit more careful before blaming it on La Nina in the future.

FEBRUARY 2000 STATISTICS        FEB 2000        NORMAL
Average High                     32.5           24.8
Average Low                      11.7           3.8
Average Temp                     22.1           14.3
Warmest high temperature         55 on the 29th (broke record;see below)
Coldest high temperature         12 on the 11th
Mildest low temperature          39 on the 25th
Coldest low temperature          -13 on the 11th
Record temperatures:             
Daily warm high:                 55 on the 29th (old record: 48 in 1964)
Daily warm low:                  37 on the 29th (old record: 30 in 1964)

MELTED PRECIP (in)               1.03           0.63
Most in 24 hours                 0.36 on the 25th

SNOWFALL (in)                    8.4             7.0
Most in 24 hours                 2.2 on the 17th
Seasonal Snowfall (Oct-Feb)      24.8            33.3

Average High Temp                 28.9           22.1
Average Low Temp                  8.4            2.1
Average Temperature               18.7           12.1
Total Melted Precip(in)           2.01           2.20
Snowfall (in)                     23.7           26.0

       FEBRUARY                         COLD SEASON

     0       1987                       16  1997-1998 
     0       1998                       17  1986-1987 
     1       1999                       22  1918-1919
     2       1954                       22  1941-1942 
     3       1926                       25  1999-2000 
     3       1935                       29  1908-1909
     4       1930                       29  1990-1991 
     4       1938                       29  1998-1999 
     4       1984                       30  1931-1932
     4       1992                       30  1982-1983
     5       (6 YEARS INCL 1990)        31  1937-1938
                                        31  1943-1944

Historic temperature data provided courtesy of the Saint Cloud National Weather Service Office, and NOAA/NWS
National Weather Service logo NOAA logo

Send comments to:

Connect with SCSU