February sees record- breaking high temperatures

Published 10:21 am Monday, February 28, 2022

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As most people have probably noticed by now, the weather has been uncharacteristically warm for February, with temperatures climbing into the 80s. As of the writing of this article, the daily high was 82° F; a higher temp than uncharacteristic highs of 81° on the same day in 2012 and 2017, and just 4 degrees shy of 2018’s 86° high.

The Post-Searchlight spoke with Chris Zelman, meteorologist for WALB News, about the unusual temperatures. According to Zelman, Albany has experienced some record high temperatures in recent weeks, with temps this week climbing as high as 87°, just shy of the area’s historic record temp for February of 88°, recorded on February 28, 1908.

“Everyone’s dealing with the same kind of weather,” Zelman said of South Georgia. This fits with a pattern Zelman noted, where some parts of the country seem to have uncharacteristically high temps, while others deal with much colder temps. He pointed to the harsh freeze Texas suffered in February last year, and the much warmer weather Georgia experienced toward the end of last December and early in January this year. (While not experiencing a freeze like last year, Texas is currently experiencing cooler temps than Georgia.)

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“December was the warmest December ever in Albany,” Zelman continued. “It would take two months of record cold to negate December.” Record warmth has been outpacing record cold 8:1, according to Zelman. A pair of cold fronts are expected to cool things down into the 70s or upper 60s over the weekend, though he stated things are expected to warm up again sometime next week. “If you like warm weather, you’re going to like the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Atypically warm winter weather has the potential to cause tornadoes, such as the outbreak of them during January of 2017. “Luckily, we haven’t had any,” Zelman said. “The pattern hasn’t played out for us to have many severe weather incidents yet. That doesn’t mean we won’t see any later.”