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February 2016 in Buffalo: not a bit like February 2015

There was nothing really historic about this February.

And, that's just fine in Buffalo.

After the city recorded its coldest month ever last February, this year featured the 15th warmest version of the month.

  • Last year, the temperature never made it above freezing. This year, there were two days in the 60s, three others in the 50s and six more in the 40s.
  • Last year, the snow pack was at least 20 inches deep for more than three weeks straight heading into March. This year, there was an inch or less of snow on the ground nearly two-thirds of the month.
  • Last year, 20 days dropped into the single digits or below zero. This year, there were five.
  • Last year, Lake Erie remained more than 90 percent frozen and its temperature at Buffalo remained a steady 32 degrees for the entire month. This year, it was less than 10 percent frozen for more than half of the month and it hit 37 degrees - tying the warmest mark ever recorded during any February dating back to 1927.


The warmest air temperature in February 2016 - 62 degrees - was recorded on a gorgeous spring-like Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28.

It didn't set the daily record for the date. There was a 64 degree day in 1954.

The record-breaker came the next day - Leap Year Day - when it hit 58 degrees, breaking the bicentennial year mark of 54 degrees.

Both days, along with the 61 degree mark on Feb. 3, lifted the month's overall temperature to 29.7 degrees. That's 3.4 degrees above that of a normal February and about 19 degrees warmer than last year overall.

It also extended the streak of months of above-average warmth in Buffalo to seven straight.

There were five records broken during the month:

  • Feb. 1: High temperature, 58 degrees (56 degrees, 1989).
  • Feb. 3: High temperature, 61 degrees (50 degrees, 1952)
  • Feb. 3: Warmest Minimum temperature, 38 degrees (37 degrees, 1991)
  • Feb. 16: Daily Snowfall, 8.9 inches (6.6 inches, 1993)
  • Feb. 29: High temperature, 58 degrees (54 degrees, 1976)



Here's a look back at February 2016 in Buffalo:

Warmest: 62 degrees, 3:36 p.m., Feb. 28.

Coldest: -12 degrees, 8:11 a.m., Feb. 14.

Snowiest: 8.9 inches, Feb. 16 [*Record*]

Windiest: 50 mph from the west, Feb. 29.


Average High: 37.7° (4.4° above/normal)

Average Low: 21.7° (2.5° above/normal)

Average Monthly Temp: 29.7° (3.4° above/normal)


Total Snowfall: 20.5 inches (3.2 inches above/normal)

Total seasonal snowfall for 2015-16: 47.1 inches (31.7 inches below/normal)


Lake Erie:

Temperature - Feb. 1: 34 degrees Feb. 29: 34 degrees

The lake was at its warmest - 37 degrees - on Feb. 9. It tied 2012 for the warmest lake temperature ever recorded during February. Its coolest days - at 33 degrees - ran from Feb. 13-28.

Ice Cover - Feb. 1: 5.28 percent Feb. 29: 0.03 percent

The lake didn't pick up more than 10 percent of ice until Feb. 13. Its most was 78.7 percent covered in ice, Feb. 15. And, it dropped back below 10 percent by Feb. 25. 


Data source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Weather Service, Buffalo; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory


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