Local

February is one for the record books, but we’ve all had enough

Take a drive down Bellingham’s snowy streets

Watch a speedy journey down some of Bellingham's most popular streets on Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, 2019. While there are warmer temperatures are on the way, many streets still remain covered in snow and ice.
Up Next
Watch a speedy journey down some of Bellingham's most popular streets on Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, 2019. While there are warmer temperatures are on the way, many streets still remain covered in snow and ice.

February 2019 is going into the record books as Whatcom County’s coldest February in 70 years.

“You’re No. 1 now. That looks to be assured,” said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle.

February’s freezing temperatures, lowland snow, howling arctic winds, power outages and days off school seems a far cry from the preceding months of November, December and January, which had above-average temperatures.

This month started warm, but on Super Bowl Sunday it was like someone propped open the door to Canada, allowing arctic air to stream unchecked from the Fraser River Valley, Burg said in an interview.

“Normally, these patterns don’t last this long,” he said. “This is kind of unusual, that low temperatures are lasting this long this late in the season.”

And Whatcom County residents are ready for it to end, judging from a Facebook poll on The Bellingham Herald’s page.

After three hours of voting, “Heck yeah — enough of this” was beating “Not me, I love the cold” by 90-14.

Average February temperature, calculated as the daily high and low together, was 32.2 degrees through Tuesday as measured at Bellingham International Airport.

It’s the lowest average February temperature since records were first kept in 1949, Burg said.

“That is 8.5 degrees below normal for what it should be this time of year,” he said.

In second place is February 1989 with an average temperature of 33.8 degrees.

Burg said 2019’s lead will hold, especially with the forecast of continued winter weather.

February 2019 by the numbers

32.2 Average February temperature (coldest since 1949).

3 Low-temperature records.

2 Days where the high temperature was above the normal high.

6 Days where the high temperature was below the normal low.

48.4 Normal February high.

38.2 February 2019 average high.

38.3 Normal February low.

26.0 February 2019 average low.

49 Highest temperature (Feb. 1).

15 Lowest temperature (Feb. 10).

43 Highest wind speed (mph, Feb. 9).

60 Highest wind gust (mph, Feb. 9).

10,000+ Power outrages in Whatcom County (exact number of affected customers undetermined, Feb. 9).

Source: National Weather Service (data Feb. 1-26)

Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.
  Comments