by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer
The month of February 2000 was the warmest February on record in Tyler, and rainfall was near normal. Last February was the second warmest February on record--until this year. It is now third. The previous warmest February was that of 1976 when the temperature averaged 58.5 degrees. This February was 0.5 deg. warmer than that.
February 2000 was 0.6 deg. warmer than February 1999, and 2.73 inches wetter. Most of February's rain came on the 26th when a wet storm feature crossed. Year-to-date rainfall in 2000 is 2.85 inches less than one year ago. Precipitation over the past twelve months is 85.8 percent of normal. This reflects the dry conditions which have prevailed since mid-Summer 1999. The Winter 1999-2000 season continues to reflect La Nina conditions in the East Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean. This pool of cool water at the surface is expected to warm to near normal by the end of this Summer. The thirty-day outlook had called for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.
The week January 30-February 5 saw temperatures average five degrees below normal, and rainfall of but 0.03 inch. A weak storm crossed Texas on the 1st and 2nd, bringing scattered light rain to East Texas on the early-morning of the 1st. After the 2nd, high pressure aloft over Western North America caused a northwest wind flow aloft. This brought a series of cold fronts, which held down temperatures.
The week February 6-12 was the opposite of the previous two weeks. Temperatures averaged ten degrees above normal and there was no rainfall. For most of the week, upper atmospheric high pressure was over Central North America. This aided in the warming of temperatures. When cold fronts arrived, and there were two, the cool air had largely been mixed out with warmer air beneath the upper air ridge. The ridge also prevented anything light shower activity. A few showers occurred the mornings of the 7th to the southwest of Tyler, and on the morning of the 10th along Red River.
The week February 13-19 saw temperatures fifteen degrees above normal and 0.08 inch of precipitation. Record high temperatures were equalled on the 17th before the arrival of a cold front and storm system the following day which brought the week's only rain. The squall line formed over the central counties, and reached severe limits in some of the southern and eastern counties on the afternoon of the 18th. Another cold front crossed on the 13th, lowering temperatures briefly. From the afternoon of the 14th through the morning of the 18th, the area was under a Tropical Maritime air mass, which kept nighttime temperatures high and daytime temperatures warm, as well.
The week February 20-26 saw temperatures 13 degrees above normal and rainfall about 300 percent of normal. A wet storm system crossed late in the week, bringing record rainfall on the 26th. Prior to the arrival of that storm, Tropical Maritime air continued over the region for much of the week. This held both daytime and nighttime temperatures to well above normal levels. A new record high minimum temperature was established on the 25th.
The reporting period for temperatures and phenomenon on each day is for the twenty-four hours ending at midnight hours GMT--6 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CDT. The reporting period for precipitation is for the twenty-four hours ending at noon GMT--6 a.m. CST and 7 a.m. CDT. All times are given using the twenty-four hour clock, and are expressed in Greenwich Mean Time.
Observations are from NWS Station 41/9207/4 in Tyler, Texas. The term "normal" refers to averages from the standard climatic period 1971-2000.
MX MN OBS PCPN REMARKS
February 2000, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: