It has certainly been very chilly across the Inland Northwest.
From Jan. 16 to Feb. 10, temperatures never made it above freezing. Spokane International Airport did manage to hit 32 degrees on Jan. 30 and 31. Prior to going into the deep freeze, high temperatures were in the 40s with a 47 degree reading on Jan. 11.
February has started out to be one of the coldest in recent memory. Average high temperatures at this time of year are in the mid- to upper 30s. From Feb. 4 through 7, highs only managed to get into the teens. The coldest temperature for the winter season occurred Feb. 6 with a low of minus-5 degrees. As of early Tuesday, the average temperature for February was 17 degrees below normal.
This week, 40 degree readings are expected across many areas of the Inland Northwest as warmer air pushes in from the south.
In addition to the cold, we finally picked up some snow in the lower elevations. But, the milder temperatures will also change the snow to rain in valley locations, with more snow likely in the higher mountains.
As of early this week, Spokane has received 8.4 inches of snow for February. This brings our total for the 2013-14 season to 22.3 inches. By now, we usually have had about 38 inches. Since Oct. 1, the airport has received about 4 inches of moisture, compared to a normal of more than 8 inches. But, we should see some recovery to that deficit thanks to a series of storms moving across our area this week and next week.
The increased moisture should extend through mid- to late March before a high-pressure system returns to the Pacific Northwest.