February 2004 - a Review of Weather, Temperatures, and Precipitation for the Quad State Region.

Weather Summary for February 2004

The major weather systems affecting the Quad State Region for the month of February 2004 can be summarized as follows. This information is taken from the “Monthly Report of River and Flood Conditions“ for the region.

On the 2nd, a storm system in the lower Mississippi Valley raced quickly northeast toward the Great Lakes. Mainly light rain fell, although some areas reported a mix of rain and snow. Total liquid precipitation amounts were generally between one-quarter and three-quarters of an inch.

A slow moving upper level low near the Colorado/Kansas border combined with a weak surface low pressure center over Arkansas, then moved into northern Tennessee by the evening of the 5th. An area of intense snowfall moved northeast from Arkansas into southeast Missouri late in the evening of the 4th. Snowfall rates up to 2 inches per hour were reported in Ripley County, Missouri. Thundersnow was observed at many locations across southeast Missouri, far western Kentucky, and southern Illinois. Total snow accumulations ranged from a trace in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky area up to 6 inches in the northwest part of the region.

Through the rest of the month, a few weak cold fronts passed across the region (on the 9th, 11th, and 12th, and again on the 24th) producing light rain that totaled less than one-tenth of an inch per event. Temperatures through the period were seasonal to slightly above normal. A warm southerly flow returned to the area for the last weekend of the month producing sunny skies and warm temperatures. A few showers developed on the 29th, mainly in southeast Missouri, out ahead of the next storm system that would affect the Middle Mississippi Valley. Some of these showers produced up to one-quarter of an inch of rain.

February Temperatures Across the Quad State Region

The following table (Figure 1) displays average February 2004 temperatures at five locations across the Quad State Region where this information is consistently collected. For comparison, historical average daily temperatures for February are also given.

These temperatures represent the average high and low daily temperatures for the month for all days of the month combined, and the average temperature for the entire month (the “normal” temperature for February). The previous 30 years of temperature information is typically used for calculating “normals,” but for Carbondale, the previous 94 years are used for this information in Figure 1.

Figure 1. February Average Daily Temperature Summaries (Degrees F) for Several Quad State Region Locations.

Location

Temperatures (F) >

High

Low

Average

Carbondale, IL

  (below normal)

Normal (94 years) > 2004 only >

46.9

46.1

28.1

23.1

37.5

34.6

Cape Girardeau, MO

  (below normal)

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

47.2

47.1

28.6

26.4

37.9

36.8

Evansville, IN

  (slightly above normal)

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

45.4

45.8

26.2

26.3

35.8

36.1

Paducah, KY

  (slightly below normal)

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

48.0

48.1

28.2

27.4

38.1

37.8

Poplar Bluff, MO

  (slightly below normal)

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

48.6

47.4

27.7

28.3

38.2

37.9

As this table indicates, temperatures across the Quad State Region for the month of February ranged from slightly above normal in Evansville, Indiana, to slightly below normal in Paducah, Kentucky, and Poplar Bluff, Missouri, to more than one degree below normal in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Carbondale, Illinois.

Note that in 2004, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, was well below the normal average daily temperature for February, although the average high temperature was only 0.1 degree below the 30 year average, while in Paducah, Kentucky, the average temperature and the average low temperature were slightly below normal, while the average high temperature was slightly above normal in 2004.

In general, the 2004 variations from normal are small when compared to historical variations. For example, in Carbondale, Illinois - where the normal February average daily temperature is 37.5 degrees - the historical temperatures range from an average of 23.2 degrees in 1978, to an average of 46.9 degrees in 1932. These are 14.3 degrees below normal, and 9.4 degrees above normal, respectively.

In the 2004 data, the largest variation from normal average temperature is 2.9 degrees (again at Carbondale). Other variations from normal were -1.1, +0.3, -0.3, and -0.3 degrees for the other locations (using daily average temperatures only). In terms of temperature, February, 2004, was very near normal.  

February Precipitation Across the Quad State Region

The next table (Figure 2) displays normal precipitation and the observed precipitation for February 2004. The historical time periods are the same as those in Figure 1. Snowfall is not available from most locations except as melted snow, which is included in the total precipitation for the month.

Figure 2 indicates that these locations had total precipitation well below normal for February 2004. Most had less than half of the normal precipitation. The data shows that February was much drier than normal in the Quad State Region.

Figure 2. February Average Monthly Precipitation (inches) and February 2004 Observed Precipitation for Several Quad State Region Locations

Location

 

Total Precipitation

(includes melted snow)

2004 difference

from normal

Carbondale, IL

  (below normal)

Normal:

2004:

2.82

1.21


-1.61

Cape Girardeau, MO

  (below normal)

Normal:

2004:

3.41

1.51


-1.90

Evansville, IN

  (below normal)

Normal:

 2004:

3.10

0.59


-2.51

Paducah, KY

  (below normal)

Normal:

2004:

3.93

1.62


-2.32

Poplar Bluff, MO

  (below normal)

Normal:

2004:

2.94

2.04


-0.90

 

 


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