February 2020 – Continued Warm with Near Normal Precipitation

February Temperatures

Preliminary data indicates that the statewide average temperature in February was 42.1o F, which is 5.6o F above the 1981-2010 mean value of 36.5o F (Figure 1).  February 2020 was the 5th warmest since 1895 in Delaware.

Figure 1. Delaware statewide mean February temperature (F) 1895-2020. Black line indicates 1981-2010 normal.

February Precipitation

Delaware’s statewide precipitation for February 2020 averaged 3.26 inches, 0.35 inches above the 1981-2010 mean (Figure 2).  This placed the February 2020 precipitation amount in the “normal” category for the month.

Figure 1. Delaware statewide mean February temperature (F) 1895-2020. Black line indicates 1981-2010 normal.

Statewide Spatial Anomalies

Data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) show that temperature departures were above normal throughout the State (Figure 3), with several stations more than 5o F above the 30-year mean.  Precipitation was above normal at most locations, with the largest positive anomalies found in southeast Sussex County (Figure 4).

Figure 3. February 2020 average temperature departures (F) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Figure 4. February 2020 precipitation departures (inches) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.

 

National Anomalies

Temperatures were above normal across the eastern one-third of the U.S., with some departures reaching 5o to 7o F in the mid-Atlantic Region (Figure 5).    Precipitation varied greatly across the U.S. with extremely wet conditions across the Southeast while California remained very dry (Figure 6).  The 500 hPa height pattern for February showed a trough dominating the central portion of the country (Figure 7) and mild ridging across the Atlantic Coast, bringing warm temperatures to our region.

Figure 5. National daily mean temperature anomalies for February 2020 (from the PRISM Climate Group, OSU).
Figure 6. Total Precipitation Anomaly for February 2020 (from the PRISM Climate Group, OSU).
Figure 7. 500 hPa geopotential height anomalies for February 2020. Negative (blue) anomalies indicate the presence of an anomalous jet stream trough while positive (red) height anomalies indicate the presence of an anomalous jet stream ridge.

 

 

 

 

 

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