While the calendar still says February, many WNYers have already mentally turned the page to March and thoughts of spring as the weather has been anything but winterlike for the past 2 weeks!
The weather in Buffalo has been more like that of Cincinnati, Ohio and on occasion even lived up to the old phrase uttered by seasoned Buffalonians; "The Miami of the north". The average temperature of the month is now tied for the warmest February in Buffalo History nearly 10F above normal... just two years removed from when Buffalo set the record for coldest February in Buffalo history back in 2015 with an average of nearly 11F below normal.
There have been two record highs set this month with the 71F on the 24th tying the warmest temperature ever recorded during the month dating back to the 1870s! Our three 60F+ days of heat places 2017 in a tie for most 60+ degree days during a February month, and we have a chance to add to that on Tuesday if the wind direction helps keep the lake cooled air from reaching the official NOAA weather station at the Buffalo Airport.
While the warmth has been plentiful in WNY during February, the snow has not. Most of the precipitation for the month has fallen as rain and not snow. In fact, the 5.0" of snow measured this month (at the Airport) is good enough to place 2017 in a tie for 5th place in the Top 5 Lease snowiest February months.
Lake Erie has responded to the heat by shedding its ice and warming back up to 35F which ties a record high for this date. While the ice boom still sits in the mouth of the Niagara River there is no ice cover to hold back which will most likely encourage an early removal this spring.
The warmth will carry over into the start of March, but much like last week, WNY will see an abrupt end to the spring fling as temperatures will drop from the 60s on Wednesday to the 20s by Thursday morning. So before you start thinking about planting your garden... keep in mind the month of March, on average, provides WNY about a foot of snow.
Check out the latest forecast here... http://www.wkbw.com/weather