Meteorological winter is officially over, but it felt like it ended long before its Feb. 28 expiration date. Much of the U.S. basked in relentless warm weather throughout February, turning the clock forward to spring.
That follows December and January, which were both markedly warmer than normal for the majority of the country. While scientists crunch the numbers to figure out how warm the nation as a whole was this winter, early results show just how pervasive mild weather was.
Climate Central conducted an analysis of 1,500 weather stations across the U.S. and found that 84 percent had a winter that was warmer than normal, including 47 percent that had a winter among their 10 warmest on record. Not a single station east of the Mississippi was cooler than average. Of the stations in the analysis, 117 had a record warm winter. In comparison, only six stations had their coldest winter on record.
The heat spread from coast-to-coast with the Southeast being the hottest of the hot. Miami, Houston and Dallas all set seasonal heat records. Towns in Oklahoma approached 100°F. Chicago was snowless in January and February for the first time in 146 years of records. Massachusetts recorded its first February tornado.
Spring arrived up to 28 days early in the Southeast.