While we await a seasonal prediction from Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous prognosticating rodent, there is perhaps more reliable information available about what February weather may be like on Cape Cod.
According to the Climate Prediction Center, a service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a 40% to 50% probability of February temperatures being above normal for Cape Cod. This comes on the heels of a significantly warmer than normal January.
Through Jan. 25, the average daily temperature for the month, recorded by a Hyannis-based National Weather Service civilian observer, has been 46.6 degrees. The average is calculated by adding the day's high and low temperature and dividing by two. This is considerably warmer than the daily average of Januarys over the last ten years or so, which comes in at 30.7 degrees.
Relatively balmy temperatures in 2023 have made Cape Cod a place of rain, not snow. The Hyannis civilian weather observer recorded half an inch of snow during December, with no measurable snow in January (through Jan. 25). January snowfall averages for recent years have been 7.7 inches.
If this no snow trend continues, we could be on a similar course to the winter of 2006-2007, which totaled 4 inches of snowfall. The highest amount of snowfall recorded in recent years was during the winter of 2014-2015, which topped out at a whopping 62.4 inches.
A look back:The Blizzard of 2022 hits the Cape
While the lack of snow saddens lovers of the white stuff, and keeps sleds and cross-country skis slumbering in sheds, it is a bit of a boon to Cape Cod public works departments.
"It certainly keeps costs down (salt/sand, overtime, equipment repairs, etc.) and allows staff to maintain their normal schedule and duties," wrote Jay Norton, director of the Department of Public Works in Wellfleet.
But Norton certainly wasn't ready to call the winter over.
"From my perspective, it appears that the winter/spring seasons have shifted somewhat. In the past few years, most of our major storms were in February or March," he wrote.
Hayden Frank, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Boston office agreed with Norton's assessment.
"Though it's hard to quantify, usually winter weather on the Cape tends to be more backloaded toward the end of the season," he said.
A bonus of all the recent rain is that Barnstable County has moved out of the "abnormally dry" category and into a more regular status, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System.
And for Cape Codders who yearn for a snowy adventure, it may be worth looking into the Cape Cod Ski Club, which has been organizing trips to New England ski areas and beyond since 1978. John Terwilliger, president of the nonprofit club, said many northern New England ski areas have depended on machine-made snow to build a base this season, but in recent days there has been natural snow in the air.
Contact Eric Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @capecast.
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This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod February forecast: Weather likely to be warmer than usual