Ask Tom Why
Februarys in recent years just haven’t produced the weather that seemed indigenous to the month through the 1960s and 1970s. Snowfall has diminished while temps have surged. The multi-decade trend toward milder, less snowy winters, which began after the 1970s, has had quite an impact on February weather stats. A total of more than 80-days of measurable February snow fell in the 1960s and again in the 1970s. But, Februarys in the 1990s saw just half that number—only 44 instances of measurable snow. During the same period, average February snowfall at Chicago’s Midway Airport, which was 10.4” in 1960s, 10.5” in the 1970s and 12.6” in the 1980s plumetted to just 7.5” in the 1990s. February snowfall has been averaging just 4.4” from 2000-2004.
Mild days have been surging. February temps above 40° occurred on 68 days in the 1960s but soared to 118 in the 1990s.