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February 2013 climate report fot Tucson Arizona
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February 2013 climate report for Tucson

Headlines
21st coldest and 49th wettest February on record
40th coldest and 39th wettest Winter on record
 

The month started off with above normal temperatures through the 7th. For the thirteenth time in February, first since 2009, the first seven days had highs 70° or warmer. The average temperature of 57.6° ranks as 14th warmest (tied with 1987) first seven days of February.

 

Near normal temperatures on the 8th before a winter storm pushed through the area on the morning of the 9th. The snow level dropped to around 4000 with up to 3" of snow in and around Vail. Another winter storm moved through the area on the 11th with snow levels down as low as 3500 feet. Highs through the 12th were in the 50s with lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

 

Temperatures stayed below normal on the 14th and 15th then were above normal from the 15th through the 18th.

 

The 3rd winter storm of the month moved through the area on the 20th. This system had the lowest snow level of the three storms which produced widespread snow across the metro area. Snowfall totals ranged widely across the area from a trace to 3" with localized higher amounts of 4". The snow suspended play at the World Golf Championships Match Play, that was being held up in Dove Mountains, on the 20th and delayed the start of play on the 21st as the snow slowly melted. It remained very chilly on the 21st and 22nd with highs in the 50s. After a warmup into the lower to mid 60s on the 23rd, a cold front brought much colder temperatures back to the area on the 24th, along with strong gusty winds.

 

The remainder of the month was below normal with overnight lows in the upper 20s to the lower 30s.

 

Temperature extremes for the month ranged from a high of 75° on the 2nd and 16th to a low of 29° on the 11th. The monthly average temperature of 50.8° is 4.5° below normal and ranks as the 21st coldest February on record.

 
February 2013 daily high temperature departure from normal February 2013 daily low temperature departure from normal
Click on image above for larger view
 

Rainfall amounts across the metro area for the month, using several sources like rainlog.org the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, ranged from 0.30" to 1.50". The International airport, which is the official recording location for Tucson, recorded 0.79", which is slightly below normal. Even though below normal, it still ranks as the 49th wettest February on record. The 2" of snow reported in and around the Tucson International Airport ranks as the 6th snowiest February day on record.

 
February 2013 stats
Month
Normal
Departure
Average high temperature
64.3°
68.5°
- 4.2°
Average low temperature
37.4°
42.2°
- 4.8°
Average temperature
50.8°
55.3°
- 4.5°
Precipitation
0.79"
0.86"
- 0.07"
2012-13 Water Year rainfall (Oct-Feb)
2.74"
4.19"
- 1.45"

Winter 2012-2013
 

The forecast for winter 2012-13, issued by the Climate Prediction Center back in mid-November 2012, called for enhanced probabilities of above normal temperatures and equal chances of above, normal or below normal precipitation. That temperature forecast did not pan out as Tucson recorded the 40th coldest winter on record (tied with 1973) with an average temperatures of 51.4°. Temperature extremes for the winter ranged from 81 degrees on December 5th & January 22nd to a low of 17 degrees on January 17th.

 
Precipitation amounts across the metro area for the winter season, using several sources like rainlog.org, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, generally ranged between two and four inches. Officially, the International airport recorded 2.78" which is slightly above normal and ranks as the 39th wettest Winter on record..
 
Winter 2012-2013 daily high temperature departure from normal Winter 2012-2013 daily low temperature departure from normal
Click on image above for larger view
 
Winter 2012-2013 stats
Season
Normal
Departure
Average high temperature
64.5°
66.2°
- 1.7°
Average low temperature
38.2°
40.3°
- 2.1°
Average temperature
51.4°
53.2°
- 1.8°
Precipitation
2.78"
2.73"
+ 0.05"
# of days with daily lows 32° or colder
23
11
+ 12

2013

2013 has definitely been colder than normal with a two month average temperature of 50.3° which is 3.7° below normal and ranks as the 23rd coldest January-February on record. This is in stark to 2012 when Tucson recorded the 14th warmest first two months on record with an average temperature of 55.6°. Precipitation at the airport is slightly below normal with 1.60" being recorded.


Looking ahead into March
The Climate Prediction Center forecasts equal chances for above or below normal temperatures and slightly enhanced probabilities for below normal precipitation.
  Daily normals | Daily records
Normal monthly high temperature 74.1°
Normal monthly low temperature 46.2°
Normal monthly temperature 60.1°
Record high temperature 99° on March 26, 1988
Record low temperature 20° on March 4, 1965
Warmest March (avg.) 66.7° in 2004
Coldest March (avg.) 51.5° in 1973
Normal rainfall 0.73"
Wettest March day 1.42" on March 25, 1903
Wettest March 3.88" in 1905
Driest March 0.00" in 1984/1956/1933/1928
Record March snowfall 6.0" in 1922
   
The number of daylight hours will increase from 11 hours 32 minutes on the 1st to 12 hours 30 minutes on the 31st, a gain of 58 minutes.
 
Looking ahead into Spring 2013
The Climate Prediction Center forecasts enhanced probabilities for both above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Short term drought conditions across the metro area are likely to deteriorate during the 2nd half of meterological spring.
   
Normal high temperature 82.6°
Normal low temperature 52.9°
Normal seasonal temperature 67.7°
Warmest Spring (avg) 72.0° in 1989
Coldest Spring (avg) 59.0° in 1905
Normal Spring rainfall 1.27"
Wettest Spring 7.43" in 1905
Driest Spring 0.01" in 1959
   
The vernal equinox, otherwise known as the beginning of spring, will occur on March 20th at 4:02 AM when the sun crosses into the northern hemisphere.
   
Glueck

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