February Weather Summary

February continued the winter 2012-2013 trend of above normal precipitation for central and southeast Illinois, however in contrast to recent months temperatures were near to slightly below normal.  Figure 1 below (click image to enlarge) shows average monthly temperatures were below normal for much of the Midwest and Great Lakes, with the local area running 1-2 degrees below normal for the month.  An active weather pattern brought several storm systems through the region this month, with several systems producing moderate rain amounts, and a couple significant snow events.  Much of central Illinois received 1-1.5 times normal monthly precipitation (figure 2).  Snowfall tended to favor western and northern Illinois this month.  Figure 3 illustrates a sharp snowfall gradient with over 10 inches falling over the western part of the state, while southeast Illinois saw only a couple inches. 

While snowfall had been hard to come by for much of the region over the last couple months, the last 2 weeks of the month produced a couple widespread accumulating snows.  The most significant snow events in February occurred on Thursday, February 21st and Tuesday, February 26th.  The first event featured a strong low pressure system shifting northeast from the Plains, but weakening as it approached central Illinois.  A band of heavy snow pushed out ahead of this system, and produced several inches of snow within a few hours during the afternoon.  However, as this snow band lifted northeast it quickly weakened during the evening hours and snowfall amounts tapered off.  The second event featured deep moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and with warmer air in place ahead of this system, moderate to locally heavy rain affected much of the area during the early morning of Feb. 26.  Colder air gradually filtered in from the northwest and changed the rain over to snow.  Moderate snow intensity affected much of central and northern Illinois into the evening hours.  Figure 4 shows total snow accumulations of 2-6 inches were common with the higher amounts falling farther northwest.  Total liquid precipitation from this system was 1-2" across the region (Figures 5 & 6).    

February temperature departure from normal

February precipitation departure from normal

February snowfall

Fig. 1. Feb. Temp. departure from normal

Fig. 2. February % of normal precipitation

Fig. 3. February Snowfall

February 26th snowfall

February 26th Precipitation (ending at 7 AM)

February 27th Precipitation (ending at 7 AM)

Fig. 4. February 26th Snowfall

Fig. 5. February 26th Precipitation

Fig. 6. February 27th Precipitation

Links below are the monthly climate summaries for area cities. Only the summaries for Peoria, Springfield and Lincoln are considered "official", meaning they are the station of record for their respective locations. The other summaries are "supplemental", meaning another location in the area is the official climate station for that city.

Climate data for other area cities is available at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=ilx

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