Calgary weather

March 1, 2019 3:04 pm
Updated: March 1, 2019 9:21 pm

Calgary’s cold February the worst in 828 months: Environment Canada

WATCH: March has come in like a lion in Alberta with extreme cold warnings covering the entire province. Jodi Hughes has more.

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This past February was one for the record books. Calgary did not have a single “normal” temperature in February, meaning every high, low and mean temperature were below seasonal.

Starting Feb. 1, temperatures dropped below freezing and stayed there for all but one hour on Feb. 22.

An incredibly rare occurance, there has only been one month on record where the temperature stayed below freezing for the entire month — in Jan. 1950 the warmest it got was -6.7 C.

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There are only two months out of 1,784 months of record where the daytime high stayed below freezing for all but one day — in January 1916, and February 2019.

READ MORE: Calgary is experiencing its longest stretch of cold weather in 21 years

By month’s end this year, the mean (or average) temperature for February was -18.7 C, making this the third-coldest February on record, according to Environment Canada climatologists.

The average monthly mean for February in Calgary is -5.4 C.

READ MORE: Calgary’s cold snap a boost or a bust for businesses: ‘Worst February in 20 years’

Calgary spent most of the month on track for this being the second-coldest February on record, but thanks to a bump in temperatures at the end of the month, the overall mean warmed up just enough to make this the third-coldest.

The coldest February was in 1936 when the mean temperature was -24.5 C. Records go back to 1885.

This cold hits especially hard for Calgarians, considering the warmer-than-average previous three months.

READ MORE: Calgarians cope with freezing cold February

Calgary saw 20 days in January with daytime highs above 0 C. The city even set a new record high temperature Jan. 26, 2019 when it hit 13.7 C. The average daytime highs for Calgary in February range from -4 C to 1 C.

Calgary was so far from normal this February that it actually had 16 days with daytime highs that were colder than the average overnight low temperatures.

On top of that, Calgary saw more than double the average amount of snow it typically gets for the second month of the year.

READ MORE: Calgary cold snap has dogs trying indoor puzzles: ‘Better than chewing the leather furniture’

Climate normals for monthly snow in February in Calgary are 14.5 centimetres. In February 2019 the city saw 34.5 centimetres of snow.

But that isn’t the most unusual snow stat.

It snowed 25 out of 28 days this February.

READ MORE: Calgary roads: Snow route parking ban to be lifted, nearly 2,000 tickets issued

There has only been one year where there were more “days with snow” for February in Calgary; in 1965 it snowed 27 of 28 days. Since then there have only been two years where Calgary had snow on at least 20 days in the month.

READ MORE: Dos and don’ts of driving in snowy conditions

According to the Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals, Calgary will usually see around eight days with snow in the second month of the year.

Unfortunately this weather pattern is expected to continue. The daytime highs forecast for the start of March are 5- to 20-degrees below average.

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