With February’s status as a chilly month and a cold snap now gripping this area, it might be surprising to know that two temperature records were set last month for heat.
The first occurred on Feb. 9, when a reading of 71 degrees was logged at F.G. Doggett Water Plant in Mount Airy, the city’s official weather-monitoring station. That narrowly broke the local record for that date which had been established in 2015 with a 70-degree reading.
Later last month, on Feb. 17, another high-temperature record was melted away when the mercury hit 72 at the water plant. The previous high mark for that date was 70, set in 1976, America’s bicentennial year.
Weather records have been kept in Mount Airy since 1924.
Ironically, neither of the record-breaking days produced the high reading here last month. That was 78 degrees on Feb. 24, which while unseasonably balmy was not a record for that date.
All this conspired to make February 2023 much warmer overall than normal, with temperatures averaging 47.4 degrees. The all-time average for the second month of the year in Mount Airy is 39.3 degrees.
February did live up to its cool reputation somewhat by delivering a 19-degree temp on the fifth day of the month, which was the low for the 28-day period.
No snow occurred during February, but frost was noted on six days at the water plant.
Although Mount Airy experienced zero snowfall last month, rain made up for this by drenching the area with 4.37 inches — more than one inch above the local February norm of 3.10 inches.
Measurable amounts were logged on 12 different days, with the largest during a single 24-hour period, 1.46 inches, occurring on Feb. 13.
For the first two months of 2023, precipitation is above normal for Mount Airy, 8.4 inches compared to 6.82.
That 1.58-inch difference is 23.2 percent above the all-time local average for the January-February period.
Fog was spotted on five days last month.