I hope you are enjoying your February. I also hope you had a wonderful Ground Hog Day … again.
I love the month of February. It’s a month where anything can, and will, happen. We see everything from bitterly cold temperatures and a howling wind. There can be storms like the February 2014 nor’easter that produced a damaging snow and ice storm that affected the southern and east coast of the United States, bringing with it up to a foot of snow and crippling ice across parts of the South. I can remember the news reports of hundreds of thousands of people that were left in the dark for a couple of weeks. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines canceled over 2,000 flights, and as many as 6,500 flights originating in or destined for the U.S. had been canceled. On that day 70 percent of flights were canceled at airports in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte.
As of February 14, 22 people had died from the storm. Approximately 1.2 million homes and businesses lost power as the storm moved from the South through the Northeast. By the evening of Thursday, February 13, about 550,000 customers remained in the dark, mostly in South Carolina and right here in Georgia.
We had some fairly decent snow in 2020, too. A nice dusting coated the northern suburbs with as much as 4-6 inches in our northern counties. On the other end of the spectrum, February 5–7, 2020 was a multi-day severe weather event across the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. An approaching cold front produced a damaging squall line across the Southeast on February 5-6. I can remember tracking massive supercell thunderstorms ahead of this line, which also produced numerous tornadoes. We had 10 tornado warnings in north Georgia from that system.
In case you are wondering, in Atlanta, during February the average high temperature is 59 degrees. The hottest day on record was February 16, 1989, when the temperature hit 80. Also, on February 7th the city blew past the record high for the day of 72 degrees by lunchtime and topped out at 80 degrees, which is more than a week earlier than Atlanta has ever reached that temperature! By contrast, we can go back to 1996 when the temperature dropped to 6 degrees on February 5, 1996.
There are also “those” days when it’s just perfect. No humidity, sunshine, a blue sky, and a temperature in the low to mid-70s.
My advice this month: Be ready for anything and everything.