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Brand new weather outlook issued for February

Second half of the month expected to be much different
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 10:43 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As is always the case heading into a new month, we’ve got a hot-off-the-press temperature and precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC).

February, if the outlook is taken verbatim, will end up warmer than normal and right at normal in the precipitation department.

The temperature outlook places most of our region squarely in a darker orange color. That means warmer than normal temperatures are favored over the course of the month. It doesn’t mean every single day will be above average; rather, it means the overall temperature by the end of the month will end up above average in all likelihood.

Warmer than normal temperatures are favored for February.
Warmer than normal temperatures are favored for February.(WSFA 12 News/NOAA)

So you can have colder than normal days, warmer than normal days and near normal days. They will all add up to an above average month is what the outlook is saying. That likely means we’re in for more days that will be at or above normal as opposed to days below normal.

The problem with that is forecast models keep us cooler than normal through roughly the 12th-14th. There’s pretty solid confidence in highs mainly in the 50s and lower 60s through that time. So in order to get an above average month, we will need the second half of the month to feature a good helping of days well into the 60s and 70s. That’s what the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast is suggesting.

Normal precipitation is favored in February.
Normal precipitation is favored in February.(WSFA 12 News/NOAA)

Precipitation isn’t as predictable for the month of February. Most of Alabama is neither in the “above normal favored” nor the “below normal favored” category for total precipitation throughout the month.

That means “near normal” precipitation is expected from the CPC. The month of February brings just under 5″ of precipitation to Montgomery, on average, which is good for the 4th-wettest month of the year. Does that mean we end up with just under 5″ of rain this month?

Not necessarily. The outlook calls for nearly normal precipitation. It could be four inches of rain, it could be five inches of rain, it could even be closer to six inches of rain. The range of 4-6″ is accurate when looking at the outlook map.

There’s no real way to predict whether or not any of that rain will come in the form of thunderstorms and severe weather. However, with above normal temperatures favored during the second half of the month it’s fair to assume there will be some attendant thunderstorm risks.

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