February’s weather was colder than average

Cold and dry is how local weather watcher Charlie Worsham described the year’s shortest month.

“February is usually a dry month anyway. In fact, it is the driest month of the year,” said Worsham.

But this February was even more dry than usual, he said.

February saw 1.58 inches of rainfall, just slightly more than half of the average 2.82 inches typically seen during the month.

Snowfall, while still below normal, was very close to being in line with the month’s average, said Worsham. It snowed 5.4 inches throughout the month, less than half an inch less than the normal average, he said.

February also saw below average highs and lows, said Worsham.

“It was about five degrees colder this year than the last two,” he pointed out.

February clocked in with an average high of 40.2 degrees, nearly four degrees below the 30-year average, said Worsham.

The average low was slightly more in line at 24.9 degrees, just 1.1 degrees off from the 30-year average, he said.

The month was plenty cold for Marietta resident Bill Bauerbach, 59.

“I work out on the river and it’s been pretty cold,” he said.

Warmer weather is preferable for the trips up and down the river, he said.

“I’d like to see it a lot warmer in March,” he said with a grin.

Bauerbach might get his wish, but probably not right away, said Worsham.

According to the National Weather Service, Marietta is not expected to have a high above 40 until Thursday.

“I’m hoping we can get pretty normal March weather, but it won’t be for the next couple weeks,” Worsham said.

It could be mid-March before the area starts to get close to the average monthly high of 54 degrees, he said.

But that marks a fairly typical pattern, said Worsham, of the temperatures beginning to slowly rise around mid-February and then picking up steam shortly before the spring equinox.

Regardless, there is no way this March will equal last year’s record breaking high temperatures, he said.

“Last year we tied for the warmest March in the last 100 years,” he pointed out.

Last March’s averaged a high of 66 degrees, he noted.

And though this March marks the 100th anniversary of the worst flood in Ohio’s history, another record breaking flood is not on the horizon either, said Worsham.

Snow melt coming down the Ohio from Pittsburgh, Pa. is one of the biggest flood contributers. February’s below average snow coupled with an average snow outlook for March makes any significant flooding unlikely, he said.

“There’s just not enough snow to be even close. We’d have to have an astronomical amount of snow,” Worsham said.

In 1913, the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers peaked at 58.7 feet, carrying away houses, bridges, even entire communities.

On Friday, the river was about 16 feet -the normal level, said Worsham.