Second Coldest February on Record for the Summit

2015-03-03 14:09:31.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist

 

A project that has been ongoing since I arrived here back in December of 2005 is the digitizing of our weather records into a database. If you are a long-time follower of the Observer Comments (i.e. this blog), you know some of the difficulties our interns/full-time staff have encountered in this process, first in entering the data but also regarding quality control of the data. Year by year we have chipped away at entering our data and are (hopefully) nearing the light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the records for the start of the Observatory back in 1932. Data for 1935 to present is complete which allowed Michael Kyle to list the “Top 4 Coldest Months on Record For Mount Washington (1935-Current)” in a comment last month. In case you missed that comment, they were:

Top 4 Coldest Months on Record For Mount Washington (1935-Current)

Year Month Average Temperature
2004 January -6.5F
1989 December -5.4F
1970 January -3.6F
1968 February -3.4F

For several locations around New England and Eastern Canada, February 2015 has been posted as being one of the coldest if not the coldest February on their records. Mount Washington had an average temperature of -5.1F for the month of February 2015, which certainly lands on the list above. While it didn’t wind up being the coldest month ever it was certainly colder than the February 1936 average. But was it the coldest February on record with a few years still remaining to be digitized? In the past few days, I have been doing a quick sweep of the temperatures for the years remaining in our data entry (1932-1934) and inputting them temporarily into a spreadsheet. After entering the data and reviewing the numbers twice, another month/year floated up onto the list of coldest months. The month was February, the year was 1934, and the monthly temperature average was -5.3F. So, after this quick evaluation, 2015 ended up being the second coldest February on record. As for where 2015 and 1934 land on the coldest ever list, (pending further review) the list will be reshuffled to:

Top 5 Coldest Months on Record For Mount Washington (1932-Current)

Year Month Average Temperature
2004 January -6.5F
1989 December -5.4F
1934 February -5.3F
2015 February -5.1F
1970 January -3.6F

 

Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist

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