by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer
In sharp contrast to January 2006, the month of February was cooler than normal. Continuing January's trend, precipitation was above normal, however the region remained in drought with 12-month precipitation nearly 20 inches below normal. Compared with February 2005, the month was 4.3 degrees cooler, and 0.58 inch drier. Year-to-date rainfall through the end of the month was 1.30 inches greater in 2006 than in 2005. The thirty-day outlook for February 2006 had called for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The week January 29-February 4 saw temperatures about 6 degrees warmer than normal, and rainfall about 125 percent of normal. Cold fronts crossed on the 28th and 3rd. The latter brought the week's rainfall, which was heavy over the East Texas Lakes Country. The week's average temperature was 54.8 deg., and rainfall was 1.03 inches. The temperature was 3.4 deg. Warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 10.4 deg. Warmer, and 0.14 inch drier.
The week February 5-11 saw near normal temperatures and rainfall about two-thirds of normal. Cold fronts crossed on the 6th and 10th. The latter brought an Arctic air mass. Its leading edge was overrun by Gulf moisture, bringing rain. The 10th and 11th were windy, with gusts in excess of 40 mph on the 11th. The week's average temperature was 49.3 deg., which was 5.5 deg. Colder than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.53 inch, with amounts in cess of two inches again over the Piney Woods and East Texas Lakes. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 1.3 deg. Colder, and 1.87 inches drier.
The week February 12-18 saw temperatures about 1 degree below normal, and rainfall less than 10 percent of normal. The week began with an Arctic air mass in place, and ended with another one. In between, temperatures rose to above normal levels under Tropical Maritime air at mid-week. A reinforcing cold front arrived on the 13th before the warm-up. The first of two Arctic boundaries arrived on the night of the 16th, followed by another on the morning of the 18th. The Arctic layer was shallow, and light overrunning rain occurred at late-week, with some freezing precipitation along and north of IH-30. The week's average temperature was 50.5 degrees, which was 1.2 degrees warmer than the previous week. Precipitation was 0.06 inch. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 9.2 degrees colder, and 0.04 inch wetter.
The week February 19-25 saw temperatures about 10 degrees colder than normal, and rainfall about 275 percent of normal. Early in the week, a shallow mass of Arctic air lay over the region. This resulted in some light freezing drizzle on the morning of the 20th. A period of 40 consecutive sub-freezing hours occurred between the evening of the 18th and the morning of the 20th. Skies were overcast virtually during the entire week, except for a few breaks in the overcast on the afternoon of the 23rd. Dense fog covered the area from the evening of the 20th through the morning of the 22nd, visibilities under one-fourth mile for much of that time.
Temperatures moderated slowly during the week, until there was a brief period of Tropical Maritime air between the evening of the 23rd and afternoon of the 24th. An upper air storm crossed on the 24th-25th, bringing a period of general and significant rainfall. Amounts in the area ranged between one and five inches, with Tyler establishing a rainfall record on the 25th. The week's average temperature was 43.9 deg., and precipitation was 2.58 inches. The week was 6.6 degrees colder than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 16.2 degrees colder, and 1.08 inches wetter.
The final three days of the month saw a warming trend in temperatures and no precipitation. Skies cleared on the 26th, bringing the first day of full sun since the 16th.
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 2006, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: