February 2023 Forecast: Did the Groundhog Get It Right?
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Weather Predictions for the Month of February
Bob Smerbeck & Brian Thompson
February 2, 2023
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It’s official: Phil has predicted six more weeks of wintry weather! Does our own forecast agree? See weather predictions for February’s numerous notable dates, including the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day!
February 2023 Weather Predictions: Phil Says “Freeze!”
Punxsutawney Phil was greeted by a cold morning as he emerged from his burrow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on Groundhog Day, February 2. Officially, he saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter weather. Brrrr! According to NOAA, the weatherman woodchuck has been right about 40% of the time. How does this prediction line up with our own forecast for February and the rest of winter?
According to our long-range forecasts, February temperatures will be warmer than normal from the Intermountain West to the Pacific Coast, as well as across Alaska and Hawaii, and near to below normal elsewhere. Expect below-normal precipitation from New England through the Carolinas and westward across the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and Deep South, as well as across the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. It will be wetter than normal across Florida and from the central Rockies through the Pacific Southwest.
Across Canada, it will be warmer than average from Atlantic Canada into eastern Quebec and along the Pacific Coast into the Northwest Territories, and colder than average elsewhere. Precipitation will be above average across eastern Quebec and the Prairies and near to below normal elsewhere.
Super Bowl Sun?
On Super Bowl Sunday, February 12, Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium will likely have its retractable roof open, as the day will be sunny and mild during the game. Also Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, this day will be quite cold with snow flurries in Hodgenville, Kentucky, the birthplace of our 16th president.
→ The Super Bowl grid iron has been graced by all sorts of wild weather over the years. Check out some of the most interesting Super Bowl Weather Records!
Cuddle Up for Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day, February 14, will bring a need for you to dress warmly with hats and gloves—or to snuggle up tight—if you are heading out for date night in the eastern half of the country. Be prepared for blustery winds and snow showers in parts of the Southeast and Deep South. It will be milder with a couple of snow showers farther west to the front range of the Rockies, while much of the rest of the West will be dry and mild for outdoor plans. Hawaii will be cool with a few showers. Atlantic Canada will be mild with a passing snow shower, while conditions will be dry and mild in the Prairies and wet with showers in southern British Columbia.
On Presidents’ Day, February 20, we’ll see cold with snow showers in Ford City, Pennsylvania, and Madison, Wisconsin, while it will be rainy and cold in Polk County, Florida, and Clinton, Alabama. Lake effect snow will hamper travel in Cleveland, Ohio, and rain and/or snow showers will be arriving in Harrison, Arkansas; Tyler, Texas; and Grants, New Mexico. Expect a passing shower in Bush, California, and sunshine and chilly conditions in Lincoln City, Oregon.
George Washington’s birthday is February 22, and it is no lie that the snow will be falling in Westmoreland County, Virginia, his birthplace, on that day. The East will be stormy, with snow over the mid-Atlantic states, rain and snow across the Southeast, and a chilly rain from the Deep South into Florida. Snow will fly from the Upper Midwest into the Ohio Valley, while snow flurries occur farther west across the Heartland and the Plains. Rain and snow showers will fall over the Intermountain West, while rain dampens the Desert Southwest.
What About the Rest of Winter?
Important factors for the rest of the winter include a weakening La Niña, a continued warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and neutral to positive phases in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Oscillations are linked ocean–atmosphere patterns that influence the weather over periods of weeks to years. Westerly equatorial stratospheric winds (QBO) combined with increasing solar activity can weaken the polar vortex in the late winter, possibly releasing Arctic air southward.