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Old March 15th 18, 07:22 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default February 2018 National Storm Summary



4-10: Soaking rain drenched the Southeast, curtailing offseason farm activities but significantly easing cool season precipitation deficits. Precipitation, some of which fell as snow, sleet, or freezing rain, also extended into the Northeast. Weekly rainfall totals in excess of 4 inches were common from the Mississippi Delta to the southern Appalachians. Meanwhile, periods of snow affected the northern Plains and the Midwest. The heaviest snow fell from Montana into the lower Great Lakes region. Most of the remainder of the country, including the upper Great Lakes region, the southern Plains. Measurable snow fell each day from February 3-11 in Illinois locations such as Chicago and Rockford, totaling 18.3 and 16.1 inches, respectively. Chicago tied its all-time record of 9 consecutive days with measurable snow, previously set from January 6-14, 2009, and January 29 – February 6, 1902. Rockford erased its former record of 7 such days, set from January 1-7 and 24-30, 1994. Farther west, Des Moines, IA, received measurable snow on 8 consecutive days, totaling 11.4 inches, from February 4-11. In Montana, Havre was buried by 22.5 inches of snow during the first 10 days of February. Prior to this year, Havre’s record-high February snowfall was 18.6 inches, set in 1978. Elsewhere in Montana, February 1-10 snowfall totaled 18.9 inches in Billings, aided by amounts in excess of 6 inches on the 4th and 9th. On February 7, snow briefly fell as far south as the Tennessee Valley, where Crossville, TN, received a daily-record total of 1..0 inch. Farther north, February 9 featured daily-record snowfall totals in locations such as South Bend, IN (10.3 inches), and Lansing, MI (5.3 inches). Elsewhere, parts of the Southeast experienced three rounds of rain. In addition, several tornadoes struck the Southeast on February 7 and 10. On February 4, daily-record amounts included 2.61 inches in Tampa, FL, and 2.37 inches in Tuscaloosa, AL. Two days later, record setting totals in Arkansas for February 6 reached 1.72 inches in El Dorado and 1.64 inches in Pine Bluff. Heavy rain returned to Alabama on February 7, when daily-record amounts included 2.33 inches in Tuscaloosa and 1.88 inches in Anniston. Similarly, daily-record amounts in Mississippi for February 7 totaled 2.83 inches in Meridian and 2.42 inches in Jackson. When heavy rain again overspread the Southeast on February 10, daily-record amounts reached 3.24 inches in Lake Charles, LA; 2.69 inches in Nashville, TN; 1.84 inches in London, KY; and 1.70 inches in Pine Bluff, AR. February 1-10 totals climbed to 6.58 inches in Tuscaloosa and 3.71 inches in Pine Bluff.

11-17: Some of the season’s heaviest precipitation fell across the Four Corners States, boosting topsoil moisture. However, the Southwest’s snowpack remained anemic, maintaining concerns about spring and summer runoff. Precipitation also fell in the Northwest but mostly bypassed California. Early-week rain soaked the central Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic States, resulting in daily-record totals for February 11 in Lynchburg, VA (2.04 inches); Atlantic City, NJ (1.95 inches); and Bridgeport, CT (1.53 inches). Meanwhile in Illinois, records were set or tied for the consecutive days with measurable snow in Chicago and Rockford. Both cities recorded measurable snow on 9 consecutive days from February 3-11; previous records had been 9 days in Chicago (from January 29 – February 6, 1902, and January 6-14, 2009) and 7 days in Rockford (from January 1-7 and 24-30, 1994). Montana also continued to receive wintry precipitation, with a February snowfall record already established by the 17th in Havre (28.4 inches; previously, 18.6 inches in 1978). Elsewhere in Montana, Great Falls’ February 1-17 snowfall of 30.7 inches was on the cusp of a February record (32.6 inches in 2011). Heavy snow also fell on the other side of the northern Rockies, where Spokane, WA, notched daily-record totals on February 14 for snow (7.3 inches) and precipitation (0.57 inch). Farther south, highly beneficial showers dotted the Four Corners States. From February 12-15, Flagstaff, AZ, received 1.32 inches of precipitation and 6.0 inches of snow. The San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado reported as much as 1 to 2 feet of snow on February 12-13. With a 1.01-inch rainfall on February 15, Tucson, AZ, experienced its wettest winter day since January 30, 2015, when 1.39 inches fell. In Texas, historic dry spells ended at 126 days (October 14 – February 16) in Amarillo and 99 days (November 9 – February 15) in Lubbock. However, precipitation totaled just 0.01 inch (on February 17) in Amarillo and 0.18 inch (on February 16-17) in Lubbock. Farther east, mid- to late-week waves of rain resulted in several daily-record totals. Among them were totals of 1.98 inches (on February 14) in Monticello, AR; 1.91 inches (on February 15) in Wheeling, WV; and 1.21 inches (on February 16) in Lexington, KY. Some of the late-week precipitation fell as snow, especially in the northern Mid-Atlantic region, where February 17 totals included 2.2 inches in Baltimore, MD, and 6.5 inches in Allentown, PA.

18-24: Relentless rains across the mid-South and lower Midwest sparked flash flooding and pushed creeks and streams out of their banks. By week’s end, runoff from fields and tributaries brought extensive flooding to larger rivers. By February 25, the Ohio River between Cincinnati, OH, and Evansville, IN, had achieved its highest level since March 1997, with the river nearing crest or still rising. Precipitation also fell in several other regions, including the upper Midwest and much of the West. The upper Midwest and environs received significant snowfall, while an extensive snow cover (and additional accumulations) on the northern Plains. In the West, precipitation was heaviest across the northern half of the region. However, the combination of colder weather and periodic precipitation helped to boost high-elevation snowpack, especially in the northern Intermountain West. Elsewhere, dry weather was confined to just a few areas, including southern California, the Desert Southwest, and the lower Southeast. Early in the week, heavy snow blanketed the Intermountain West. On February 17-18, precipitation at Lake Yellowstone, WY, totaled 1.90 inches. In Utah, 24-hour snowfall totals on February 18-19 included 16.2 inches at Alta; 13.0 inches at Tooele; and 12.0 inches at Fillmore and Spanish Fork. Farther east, February 18-19 snowfall reached 14.7 inches in Casper, WY, and 10.9 inches in East Rapid City, SD. Meanwhile, the first of several rounds of heavy precipitation struck the mid-South and lower Midwest. Record-setting precipitation totals for February 19 included 1.66 inches in Peoria, IL, and 1.27 inches in South Bend, IN. On February 20, daily-record amounts reached 2.98 inches in Mount Ida, AR; 2.82 inches in West Plains, MO; and 2.42 inches in Lincoln, IL. South Bend, IN, received 3.73 inches on the 20th, boosting its 2-day total to exactly 5.00 inches. Previously, South Bend had never received 2 inches of rain on a February day, with a maximum of 1.95 inches on February 1, 1968. Subsequently, the St. Joseph River rose to record-high levels in South Bend (7.20 feet above flood stage on February 21) and Niles, MI (6.33 feet above flood stage on February 22). In Michigan, daily-record amounts for February 20 included 2.53 inches in Grand Rapids and 2.29 inches in Lansing. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock, MI, crested 2.69 feet above flood stage on February 24, edging the April 1947 high-water mark by 0.75 foot. Midwestern crest records from March 1982 were broken in several locations, including the Yellow River at Plymouth, IN (4.65 feet above flood stage on February 23), and the Kankakee River at Dunns Bridge near Kouts, IN (3.65 feet on February 26). By February 21, the focus for torrential rain shifted to the mid-South, where daily-record totals in Arkansas climbed to 5.05 inches in Monticello; 4.61 inches in Pine Bluff; 4.60 inches in Texarkana; and 4.26 inches in Hot Springs. On the same date, record-setting amounts in neighboring states totaled 3.73 inches in Shreveport, LA, and 2.95 inches in Longview, TX. During another round of heavy rain on February 22, daily-record totals topped 2 inches in locations such as Tupelo, MS (2.90 inches); Jonesboro, AR (2.61 inches); Lexington, KY (2.49 inches); and Muscle Shoals, AL (2.33 inches). At week’s end, yet another wave of heavy rain reached the mid-South and lower Midwest. Record-setting totals for February 24 included 3.45 inches in both Evansville, IN, and Cape Girardeau, MO. Evansville’s total set a February calendar day record, previously set with 3.38 inches on February 18, 2000. Elsewhere, record-setting totals for February 24 surged to 2.98 inches in Louisville, KY, and 2.86 inches in Springfield, MO. Through February 24, month-to-date precipitation topped 10 inches, and was 300 to 400 percent of normal, in locations such as Pine Bluff, AR (12.76 inches); Jackson, TN (11.01 inches); and Louisville, KY (10.36 inches). Through the 24th, February precipitation records had already been set in numerous locations, including Jackson (previously, 10..28 inches in 1990) and Louisville (previously, 9.84 inches in 1884). Farther west, periods of snow resulted in several daily-record accumulations, starting on February 21. On that date, amounts included 1.0 inch in Seattle, WA, and 0.5 inch in Portland, OR. Record-setting amounts for February 22 included 4.9 inches in Boise, ID; 3.2 inches in Medford, OR; and 2.6 inches in Watertown, SD. Cool air returned to the Northeast, contributing to a daily-record snowfall (4.8 inches on February 22) in Binghamton, NY. On February 23, Flagstaff, AZ, received a daily-record snowfall of 7.0 inches. And, snowfall totals of 7.4 inches in Sisseton, SD, and 6.0 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, sets records for February 24.

25-28: The Ohio River crested in Cincinnati, OH (8.53 feet above flood stage), on February 25, and in Evansville, IN (4.87 feet above flood stage), on March 1. At all points from Cincinnati to Evansville, the Ohio River achieved its highest level since March 1997. Below Evansville, however, the river did not reach levels that had been attained during the spring 2011 flood. Across the mid-South, late month rainfall added to already impressive February precipitation totals. In fact, it was the wettest February on record in locations such as Little Rock, AR (14.04 inches; previously, 12.74 inches in 1882); Tupelo, MS (12.98 inches; previously, 10.91 inches in 1948); Louisville, KY (10.54 inches; previously, 9.84 inches in 1884); and Shreveport, LA (9.21 inches; previously, 8.96 inches in 1939). In Pine Bluff, AR, the 15.01-inch monthly total was second only to the February 1939 record of 16.69 inches. Fittingly, the month ended with impressive, regional scale downpours on February 25 and 28. On the 25th, daily-record amounts included 4.16 inches in Alexandria, LA, and 2.99 inches in Vicksburg, MS. And, the last day of February featured daily-record
amounts in locations such as Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX (4.72 inches), and Stuttgart, AR (2.67 inches). Elsewhere on the 28th, daily-record rainfall topped 3 inches in Tennessee locations such as Chattanooga (3.48 inches), Jackson (3.33 inches), and Memphis (3.12 inches). Meanwhile, a parade of Western storms approximately doubled the water equivalency of the Sierra Nevada snowpack to 10 inches, nearly 40 percent of the early-March average. In California’s Central Valley, daily-record totals included 0.94 inch (on February 26) in Stockton and 1.38 inches (on March 1) in Sacramento. Farther inland, Elko, NV, received 8.3 inches of snow on March 2-3, while Salt Lake City, UT, noted 8.3 inches on March 3-4. Finally, a sudden and intense nor’easter brought heavy precipitation and destructive winds to the northern and middle Atlantic States in early March. Unofficial wind gusts locally topped 90 mph in coastal Massachusetts and officially reached 70 mph on March 2 in Boston, where rainfall totaled 2.30 inches. New York’s JFK Airport received 2.73 inches of rain on March 1-2, and clocked a gust to 66 mph on the latter date. Virginia’s Dulles Airport had a gust to 71 mph, also on March 2. Meanwhile in New York, daily-record snowfall totals for March 2 reached 16.7 inches in Syracuse; 12.5 inches in Binghamton; and 11.9 inches in Albany.

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