This Early February Was Cold

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NOUS44 KHGX 101621
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TXZ163-164-176>179-195>200-210>214-226-227-235>238-110300-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
1021 AM CST THU FEB 10 2011

…FEBRUARY BEGINS ON A FRIGID NOTE…

…FEBRUARY 2011 LOW TEMPERATURE AVERAGE
IS THE COLDEST ON RECORD…

FEBRUARY 2011 HAS BEGUN ON A RATHER FRIGID NOTE. AT HOUSTON…
NINE OF THE FIRST TEN MORNINGS FELL BELOW FREEZING. SEVEN OF THE
FIRST TEN MORNINGS WERE BELOW FREEZING AT HOUSTON HOBBY AIRPORT
AND AT COLLEGE STATION. THE AVERAGE DAILY TEMPERATURE FOR THE
FIRST NINE DAYS OF FEBRUARY ARE EITHER THE THIRD OR FOURTH COLDEST
START TO FEBRUARY IN RECORDED HISTORY. THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE
OVER THE FIRST NINE DAYS OF THE MONTH WERE THE COLDEST ON RECORD
FOR ALL FOUR PRIMARY CLIMATE SITES. BELOW ARE THE ICY DETAILS:

DATA – FEBRUARY 1 THROUGH FEBRUARY 9

HOUSTON

AVG HIGH AVG LOW AVG DAILY

44.7 1895 27.0 2011 37.6 1895
45.1 1905 30.6 1985 38.2 1985
45.8 1985 30.6 1895 39.5 2011
47.4 1978 33.2 1972 39.9 1905
49.6 1982 34.4 1978 40.9 1978

8TH 52.0 2011

HOUSTON HOBBY

AVG HIGH AVG LOW AVG DAILY

47.2 1978 30.3 2011 41.5 1985
47.8 1985 33.8 1951 41.5 1978
49.7 1982 34.7 1947 41.7 2011
50.1 1989 35.2 1985 43.2 1989
51.9 1979 35.8 1978 43.5 1982

6TH 53.0 2011

COLLEGE STATION

AVG HIGH AVG LOW AVG DAILY

43.1 1905 26.6 2011 37.1 1985
44.4 1978 26.7 1951 37.3 1989
45.0 1985 28.6 1989 39.3 1978
46.0 1989 29.2 1985 39.6 2011
46.8 1979 29.6 1905 40.6 1979

7TH 52.6 2011
GALVESTON

AVG HIGH AVG LOW AVG DAILY

44.2 1985 33.1 2011 39.8 1985
45.0 1895 35.4 1985 40.2 1895
45.9 1905 35.4 1895 41.4 1905
46.7 1978 36.9 1905 41.5 2011
49.7 1989 38.8 1978 42.7 1978

6TH 49.9 2011

BELOW IS ANOTHER TABLE WITH DATA FOR THE MOST DAYS BELOW 32
DEGREES FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY:

HOUSTON HOU HOBBY GALVESTON

12 – 1895 7 – 2011 9 – 1895
9 – 2011 6 – 1989 6 – 2011
9 – 1978 6 – 1951 5 – 1899
8 – 1989 5 – 1960 4 – 1905
7 – 1905 4 – 1996 4 – 1989
7 – 1899

RELIEF FROM THE COLD IS ON THE WAY. A FEW MORE COLD MORNINGS ARE
EXPECTED AND THEN A WARM UP BEGINS OVER THE WEEKEND. IT LOOKS LIKE
THE COLD AIR WILL FINALLY RETREAT TO THE NORTH AND ALLOW WARMER
TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE END OF THE MONTH.

$$

Source

This February has been very cold. Houston had an icestorm. This has to be one of the coldest February since 1989 and I remember it well. Let’s compare this February with previous cold February’s based on winter climate patterns, which are El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Arctic Oscillation (AO), Pacific/North America (PNA), and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). It is explained at this link. ENSO, PDO, and AMO values are averages from December to February. NAO, AO, and PNA are monthly values at time of freeze. The values are explained at this link.

February 1895
ENSO=-3.3 Neutral
PDO=Unknown
NAO=-49 Extremely Strong Negative
AO=Unknown
PNA=Unknown
AMO=-13.7 Moderate Cool

February 1905
ENSO=+0.7 Weak El Nino
PDO=+5.7 Weak Positive
NAO=+14 Moderate Positive
AO=Unknown
PNA=Unknown
AMO=-18.3 Moderate Cool

February 1978
ENSO=+7 Weak El Nino
PDO=+3.7 Neutral
NAO=-31 Extremely Strong Negative
AO=-30.1 Extremely Strong Negative
PNA=+12.7 Moderate Positive
AMO=-13.0 Moderate Cool

February 1985
ENSO=-9 Weak La Nina
PDO=+10.1 Moderate Positive
NAO=-15 Strong Negative
AO=-14.4 Moderate Negative
PNA=-5.2 Weak Negative
AMO=-30.2 Extremely Cool

February 1989
ENSO=-17 Strong La Nina
PDO=-8 Weak Negative
NAO=+32 Extremely Strong Positive
AO=+32.8 Extremely Strong Positive
PNA=-10.6 Moderate Negative
AMO=-15.7 Strong Cool

ENSO
1895=Neutral
1905=El Nino
1978=El Nino
1985=La Nina
1989=La Nina
Two of the five cold February’s occurred in La Nina, while two of them occurred in El Nino, and one in Neutral. Looks like it could go either way to have colder February.

PDO
1895=Unknown
1905=Warm
1978=Neutral
1985=Warm
1989=Cool
Two were in warm phase, while one was in cool and neutral phase, while one is unknown. It is somewhat favorable for a colder February when PDO is in a warmer phase.

NAO
1895=Negative
1905=Positive
1978=Negative
1985=Negative
1989=Positive

Three out of five were in a negative phase, while two were in positive phase. A negative NAO is more favorable for colder February.

AO
1895=Unknown
1905=Unknown
1978=Negative
1985=Negative
1989=Positive

Two out of five were negative, while one was positive. The rest are unknown. From what I notice, a negative PNA is more favorable for colder February. Interestingly, a more positive PNA is more favorable for colder winters.

PNA
1895=Unknown
1905=Unknown
1978=Positive
1985=Negative
1989=Negative

Two out of five were negative, while one was positive. The rest are unknown.

AMO
1895=Cool
1905=Cool
1978=Cool
1985=Cool
1989=Cool

All of them occurred when AMO was in a cool phase. In regards to AMO, the water would be much cooler in the winter. Also, they occurred in a cooler cycle of the AMO with the exception of 1895, which was in a warm phase.

ENSO Before 1950
Japanese Meterological Agency-ENSO

ENSO After 1950
NOAA-ENSO Data

PDO
JISAO-PDO

NAO
UCAR-NAO

AO
NOAA-AO

PNA
NOAA-PNA

AMO
NOAA-AMO

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