Crozet Weather Almanac: February 2011

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By Roscoe Shaw and Heidi Sonen

weather-chart-feb-2011

February Turnaround… Spring Came Fast

Heidi and I woke up February 10 to 19 degrees and a dusting of snow. A quick check of the computer told us that school was starting two hours late. Our daughter heard the news and uttered, “Yeah!” and rolled back over to sleep. There wasn’t enough to sled on—the story of this winter.

We dug through the weather records and found that this year has been five degrees below normal and three degrees colder than last year’s record snow year.

Then it all changed. By Valentine’s Day, the temperature was up to 65 degrees. We hit 72 on February 17 and Heidi reported the all-important blooming of the crocuses. The first flowers of spring are always a beautiful sight. When all was said and done, February finished two degrees above normal and the high temperatures for the last half of the month were an impressive nine degrees more than usual.

March Madness

March is perhaps the craziest month of the year for weather. Because it’s a transition month, almost anything can happen. In 1960, it snowed 30 inches in two weeks to start the month and then hit 80 before the end of the month. That was a bit extreme, but March is very capable of such surprises.

March starts with a normal high temperature of 53 and ends the month with an average of 64 and sunset at 7:36 p.m. Usually, we either hit or come close to 80 degrees at some point. But March can be very snowy, especially the first half. Beautiful spring weather can change to snow very quickly. Back in 1993, a nice 60 degree day was followed by the “Superstorm” that blasted us with a foot of snow, extreme winds and a low of 10 degrees.