National Snow & Ice - February 2008


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

The two satellite-derived images above show the daily snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere (left map) and North America (right map) throughout February 2008. By clicking on the images, the residual snowpack across much of North America and Asia and the gradual expansion of sea ice across parts of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and portions of the Great Lakes can be seen during the month. In addition, multiple snowstorms can be seen across eastern Europe, Iran, Mongolia, China, and the United States during February. By the end of the month, much of the snow cover had begun to recede with the gradual increase of temperature and solar radiation.

February brought a series of large winter storms across much of the northern two-thirds of the U.S., beginning with a major winter storm on February 5-6 that impacted a swath from northwestern Missouri through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin to Michigan. The next week, a strong mid-latitude system brought several inches of snow from central Oklahoma and Missouri through the Ohio River Valley to New England on February 12-15, 2008. By the end of the month, Boston's Logan International Airport broke a new February record for total precipitation, and parts of Wisconsin have also set new seasonal snowfall records. Numerous other locations in New England are set to break new seasonal snowfall records if March snowfall totals are near average. Although the excessive winter precipitation may aid many areas in the Northeast that experienced a relatively dry fall, it has wreaked havoc on many roofs and local snow removal budgets.

The map to the left depicts the snowpack levels in many Rocky Mountain basins on March 1, 2008, illustrating above-average snow cover in much of the Rockies, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada in the western U.S. Some areas in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and southern Colorado had levels above 180% of normal at the beginning of March. At the end of February, new snowfall records for the season-to-date were set in both Telluride and Aspen, Colorado. Conversely, parts of Wyoming, Montana, Nevada and north-central Washington had levels below normal, as did much of eastern Alaska and southern New Mexico. Above-average snowfall this season is bringing relief to many areas of the Western U.S. that have been plagued by drought in recent years.

More information on February severe winter weather can also be found on NCDC's Hazards page.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Snow & Ice for February 2008, published online March 2008, retrieved on October 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/snow/2008/2.