Highlight: February 2023 and DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23 U.S. Review. Record warm in Virginia for FEB-23; record warm in Massachusetts for DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23. Wisconsin wettest DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23 on record.
Discussion: Record warmth greeted Virginia in February 2023 while the entire eastern 40% of the U.S. ranked in the MUCH ABOVE normal temperature category for the last month of meteorological winter (Fig. 1). In fact, 13 states ranked in the top 5 warmest of all time in the East for February. The Great Plains were generally temperate to ABOVE normal while the chilly weather for the month was located across the West, lead by California and Arizona each ranking in the top 15% coldest of all-time. Overall, the U.S. ranked 28th warmest in the 129-year climatology.
In February, the U.S. ranked 50th driest in the 129-year climatology. The most extreme precipitation rank was 5th wettest on record in Wisconsin while surrounding states Iowa and Michigan were in the top 10 wettest of all-time (Fig. 2). Conversely, the Coastal Northeast U.S. was quite dry. All Southern New England ranked in the top ten driest on record. The Coastal Southeast and Northwest were also drier than normal to end meteorological winter.
Winter 2022-23 ranked 18th warmest on record. The entire East and most of the South U.S. were in the MUCH ABOVE normal category which included an all-time-record warm winter season in Massachusetts while 17 states were in the top 5 warmest all-time (Fig. 3). The West U.S. was moderately chilly averaging in the top 1/3 all-time coldest winter seasons.
The winter 2022-23 precipitation ranking was 22nd wettest on record. Wisconsin observed the wettest winter season of the 129-year climatology (Fig. 4). The impressive rain and snow in California ranked 12th wettest all-time. A total of 29 of the 48 contiguous states were wetter than normal during meteorological winter. The Northwest and Florida were the only dry zones.
Fig: 1: NOAA state rankings of temperature for February 2023.
Fig: 2: NOAA state rankings of precipitation for February 2023.
Fig: 3: NOAA state rankings of temperature for DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23.
Fig: 4: NOAA state rankings of precipitation for DEC/JAN/FEB 2022-23.