February 2020 Review / March 2020 Preview

Today we will be taking a quick look back at Edmonton's weather for February, 2020. As we will see, it was mild, but still pretty typical.

High Temperatures
The High temperatures were above average for most of the month, but there was a little coldsnap around the middle of the month, and then near the end of the month there were a few really warm days with temperatures 5-10°C above average.

Overall there were 21 Highs above the 30-year average, and 8 below.

February 2020's average High of -0.1°C was on the warm side for recent February's, but still well below something like 2016's 3.2°C.

On average in February we have 11 Highs above freezing, and 4 which hit 5°C. In 2020 we were a bit above that, with 16 days above freezing, including 6 which hit 5°C, and the 27th even got all the way to 10.2°C.

Low Temperatures
The Low temperatures were a bit more evenly split than the Highs. 16 Lows were above average, and 13 were below average. And that included a -26.9°C on February 18th, which was a coldest-in-30-years Low. Although that was still well, well above the record of -40.6°C from 1885.

February's average Low of -11.4°C was in the middle of the pack for recent years.

On average in February we will have about 5.5 Lows hit -20°C. This year we had 4 of those, including the -26.9°C on the 18th.

Warm & Cold Months
February 2020's average High of -0.1°C ranked it as 19th overall, going back to 1880.

That was much Higher than 2019's -14.3°C, which is down in 136th spot.

If you switch this chart to show the Lows February 2020's average of -11.4°C ranked it as 34th overall. And 2019 was in 135th spot with an average Low 10°C colder at -24.4°C.

Looking at the mean temperatures (High & Low) February 2020 shows up as a fairly large, orange circle, 4.3°C warmer than the 20th century average for February. That's much warmer than 2019, but cooler than 2016, 2013, 2005, 2002...

January 2020 also above average, but was only 1.1°C warmer than the January average, compared to February's 4.3°C difference.

February 2020's 23.6cm of snow was a bit above the average of 14cm, and ranked as the International's 13th snowiest February going back to 1961.

Looking at some other Canadian cities, Ottawa & Montréal were both over 65cm for February, and Toronto had 53.4cm. Calgary's 21.5cm was just a bit below Edmonton's 23.6cm.

And this chart is a little messy, because it shows the snow totals for the winter so far for Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montréal, Ottawa & St. John's. You can turn off any cities to get a clearer view.

So far Vancouver is (unsurprisingly) the lowest, with 45.4cm. Next is Edmonton with 93.9cm, which is just above our average for this point of the winter. Winnipeg is a little higher at 102.6cm. Calgary is up at 139.5cm. Montréal and Ottawa are both over 180cm. And St. John's is way up at 336cm.

Even though we've had warm temperatures, and our snowfall has been pretty average, the overall snowdepths at both the International & Blatchford are a bit above average for this time of year. We did see some melting at the end of the month though, with Blatchford down to 25cm and the International at 33cm.

But even though it might feel like spring, we still probably have at least one more month until the snow disappears.

March Temperatures

As for March, it averages 20 days with Highs above freezing. That has ranged from 2002 with 8 and 2011 with 11, up to 2010 and 2016 with 29. Last year had 22.

But March can also have a fair number of cold days. Last March started with 4 Lows dropping down to -20°C, including 3 below -25°C. On average March has about 3 -20°C Lows, but about half of the time there are none.