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February weather rollercoaster

BY CORY MORRISON

With lots of ice, snow, and wind, but with fluctuating temperatures, February was certainly a wild ride at times in the Greater Toronto Area.

Late January’s extreme cold eased as we headed into February. Despite this, we had a price to pay: A few days with school closures because of ice and snow that caused nuisances on the roads. These days include Feb. 6, 12 and 27. There were also many days where walking on the ice without slipping was no easy task.

Ice in North Oakville on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 (Photos by Cory Morrison/Sheridan Sun).

Why was the month stormy at times? As always, the jet stream is the culprit. Many parts of Western North America experienced their coldest February in history. We experienced a record cold February four years ago, but it was the West’s turn this time. 

On the other side of the coin, parts of Southeastern U.S. had one of their warmest Februaries on record. When warm tropical air meets with a deep trough, this creates a storm track for areas in between.

As another result of this, we were also often in the battle zone for temperatures. This setup meant swings which resulted in a near-normal month for temperature. The previous February was similar. However, we were more often on the warm side of these storm systems.

February 2019’s average weather pattern. With a deep western trough, this allowed warm air in the east to surge north. An active storm track took place in the Great Lakes as a result. Source: NOAA.

GTA weather highlights in February 2019 include:

  • Coldest February in four years
  • Snowiest February in six years
  • Least rainy February in four years
  • Feb. 1: the coldest day with a maximum temperature of -10.1 C and a minimum temperature of -19.1 C
  • Feb. 4: the warmest day with a maximum temperature of 12.7 C and a minimum temperature of 5.6 C
  • Feb. 12: the rainiest day with 8.0 millimetres of rainfall
  • Feb. 24 and 25: the highest wind gusts of 87 km/h
  • Feb. 27: the snowiest day with 18.4 centimetres of snowfall

The numbers include:

February 2019 was the coldest since 2015 at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
February 2019 was the snowiest since 2013.
February 2019 was the least rainy since 2015.

The video below rounds up weather events that happened in Oakville last month.

VIDEO BY CORY MORRISON

Looking ahead, March is getting off to a frosty start in the GTA. However, according to The Weather Network, spring will likely arrive earlier than last year. Many may recall that there was no shortage of April cruelty last year. TWN is not predicting that this year.

Written by
Cory Morrison

Cory Morrison is a second-year Journalism student at Sheridan College. He has well-known passions for writing and weather reporting. His passions for these two things inspired him to enroll in Sheridan's Journalism program. He also has autism spectrum disorder.

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Written by Cory Morrison

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