By JOSEPH CHOI
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Monday that this year saw the coldest February the U.S. has had in more than 30 years.
“The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. last month was 30.6 degrees F, 3.2 degrees below the 20th-century average, making it the 19th-coldest February in the 127-year record. It was also the coldest February since 1989,” the NOAA said in a press release.
According to the NOAA, February 2021 ranked among the top 10 coldest Februaries in six states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Despite the historically low February temperatures, NOAA notes that winter ended at a warmer temperature than normal. And though much of the U.S. was blanketed with snow in February, the NOAA said that the meteorological winter this year, the period between December and February, was “quite mild and dry.”
Unsurprisingly, the NOAA listed the snowfall in Texas as one of the more notable climate events to happen this winter.
“February 2021 brought the coldest air since December 1989 to much of the state. Several locations across central Texas — including Austin and Waco — broke records for the longest streak of below-freezing temperatures,” NOAA noted. “Every county in Texas was under a Winter Storm Warning in mid-February and experienced wind chill values below zero as far south as the Rio Grande River and northeastern Mexico.”
Apart from Texas, Alaska also saw its coldest February in 22 years and the drought in the contiguous U.S. got slightly worse.
The winter storms in February severely impacted states such as Texas which saw much of its power grid cease to operate in the freezing temperatures. Dozens of deaths in Texas have been linked to the winter weather and the subsequent power outage.