February 2011: Numbers Don't Always Tell the Story

I offer this blog as an example of how statistics can be very misleading. You may find it hard to believe temperatures for February 2011 were almost spot-on the “normal” values! How can this be?

Intense cold and three ice/snow events from Feb 1-11 left us with temperatures for this period about 25 degrees below the average. However, this was immediately followed by near-record warmth with highs into the 70s almost every day for an equal period of time. February closed on a breezy and cool note with seasonable temperatures on the 28th.

So we wind up with extreme cold and unusual warmth offsetting each other during the month.

Of course, hidden beneath a casual glance at this monthly average temperature is the ice and snow event of Feb 1-4 which forced many schools to close for four days straight. Ice remained on the roads because highs remained below freezing for 4 days. The last time this happened was during the ice storm of 1978. And of course there were the rolling blackouts on Feb 2nd due to intense cold, and three snow events in just 9 days.

Suppose someone moves here next year and glances at the average temperatures in Texoma for Feb 2011. They will have no idea what those numbers conceal!

As for precipitation, the 30-year average for February is between two to three inches. All of Texoma received at least 50% of the normal with northern and eastern areas very close to 100% of the February average precipitation. The maps below are for rain and melted snow:


A worse-than usual wildfire season is expected this spring due to windy and dry conditions expected (on average).

Take Care,

Steve LaNore

Chief Meteorologist





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