A Weird February in North America

Date Added: 
Thursday, March 5, 2015


Everyone is likely aware of the strange winter weather we have been experiencing in the United States. The East Coast is stuck in a continual deep freeze, while those of us in the west bask in the warm sun and worry about where our drinking water will come from as the year progresses. This pattern is visible as a striking feature in the February mean lower tropospheric temperature map.  The anomaly map is shown below, i.e. the difference between the temperatures of this February 2015 from the normal February temperatures calculated from the last 35 years.

Feb 2015 TLT Anomaly Map

Looking at the map, you can see that California was as much as 5 C above normal, while the Northeastern United States was more than 5 C below normal.  Also, most of Asia and the North Atlantic was also much warmer than normal. In fact, the average temperature for the Northern mid-latitudes (25N to 60N) was about 0.78 C above normal. So even though many New Englanders might think global warming is over, when one zooms out and takes a larger view, this February proved to be quite warm in many places.