Preliminary data indicates that the statewide average temperature in February was 36.3°F, which is 0.2°F below the 1981-2010 mean value of 36.5°F (Figure 1). February 2021 was the coolest February since 2015.
Delaware’s statewide precipitation for February 2021 averaged 5.72 inches, 2.81 inches above the 1981-2010 mean (Figure 2). This placed this month’s precipitation total as the 5th highest of all Februarys since 1895. Snowfall totaled 9.0 inches for the month at the Wilmington/New Castle County Airport. Normal snowfall for February is 8.3 inches.
Statewide Spatial Anomalies
Data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) show that temperature departures were negative at all stations, with the largest negative anomalies topping 2°F at several stations (Figure 3). Precipitation was generally above normal throughout the State.
Temperatures were below normal across the majority of the United States, with the largest negative temperature anomalies (greater than 16°F) found across the central portion of the country (Figure 4). Only the southwest United States, Florida and parts of Maine saw above normal February temperatures. Precipitation anomalies varied greatly across the country with particularly heavy precipitation across the Atlantic Coast, while the Southwest and Central United States saw generally dry conditions (Figure 5). The 500 hPa height pattern for February shows a very strong jet stream trough across the center of the United States (Figure 6). This trough in the jet stream was associated with very cold temperatures across much of the country, and for the cold outbreak that so greatly affected Texas in February.