Just like the temperature, several cold weather records are falling for February
This part probably isn’t news: It’s been really, really cold all month.
There are a few days left in February, but looking at the forecast -- where temperatures aren’t supposed get any higher than the mid-teens, it’s safe to make some assumptions.
This February will be the coldest month the Syracuse area has sustained since 1934, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center. So far the average temperature through Feb. 23 has been just 9.5 degrees. That’s three degrees lower than that 1934 record and better than 15 degrees below the long term February average of 25.9 degrees.
"Every single day so far has been freezing or below; we haven’t been above freezing. We also haven’t been above normal so it’s definitely been very consistent," said climatologist Jessica Spaccio with the climate center.
Remember the much talked about "Polar Vortex" of last winter? Well, even with that, the average temperature for last February was a balmy 20.9 degrees.
Temperatures are likely not going to be warmer than the mid-teens the rest of the week. Spaccio says that puts Syracuse on pace to break another record, most consecutive days below freezing, which is currently 28 days. "Looking at the forecast, I think we could easily tack on another three days of 32 or colder, so it looks like that will be another record Syracuse will break," she said.
The Syracuse area also set some daily records, two for low temps and "two days also had their lowest high temperature, so as warm as it got was the coldest for that day."
In fact, the National Weather Service corrected Syracuse's low temperature for Tuesday, dropping it to -18 degrees. That breaks the old record of -13 set over 100 years ago, in 1914, and is the lowest the temperature has dropped in Syracuse this winter.
Spaccio says the cold weather has to do with a consistent arctic jet stream bringing very cold air over upstate New York.
"So the jet stream has really, really played a big role in how our winters are," she said. "Once that drops down the cold air can come down and it’s just kind of been stuck in this pattern where we’ve seen this consistently cold air."
Hang in there: the first day of Spring is March 20.