WASHINGTON — A freakishly balmy February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States, but it didn’t quite beat 1954 for the warmest February on record, climate scientists said.
The average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees – 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday.
It was unseasonably toasty for most of the country east of the Rockies, but a cool Pacific Northwest kept the national record from falling. Chicago had no snow. Oklahoma hit 99 degrees. Texas and Louisiana had their hottest February. NOAA said local weather stations broke or tied warm temperature records 11,743 times.
An international team’s analysis of causes of extreme weather calculated man-made global warming tripled the likelihood for the unusually warm month.