National Climate Report - February 2019
Historically Extreme Winter Temperature and Precipitation Maps

« National Climate Report - February 2019


Historically Extreme Winter Temperature and Precipitation Maps


Places have unique climate histories. The maps below help depict the local and regional "coldest, warmest, driest and wettest winters on record".

The first map below shows the local warmest winter on record across the CONUS, considering average temperature. The five largest footprints, which aren't necessarily the five warmest winters overall, are depicted in unique colors; all other winters are combined into an "other" category. The other maps depict the same type of analysis, for: minimum ("overnight low") temperature, maximum ("afternoon high") temperature, driest and wettest precipitation.

Looking at the warmest average temperature map and associated table, it is interesting to note which winters are represented. The winter with the largest footprint is 1931/32, when a quarter of the country, stretching from the Southern Plains to the Northeast, had their warmest winter. However, temperatures west of the Rockies were largely below normal, muting the national-average temperature, which now stands as the 19th warmest winter for the CONUS, despite having the most area record winter warmth. More recently, the winter of 2014/15 was exceptionally warm for the western United States. However, the cool anomalies east of the Mississippi counteracted those warm anomalies, resulting in a nationally averaged temperature that only ranked in the warmest third of the historical record.

(click any image to enlarge)

Warmest Average Temperature

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1931/3224.1%
2nd2014/1512.5%
3rd1991/9212.2%
4th1933/349.4%
5th1906/076.3%
map depicting local warmest TAVG Winter on record

Warmest Minimum Temperature

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1931/3222.7%
2nd1997/9813.9%
3rd1991/929.8%
4th2014/159.1%
5th1933/348.8%
map depicting local warmest TMIN Winter on record


Warmest Maximum Temperature

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1931/3219.0%
2nd1980/8110.1%
3rd2001/029.8%
4th1933/349.1%
5th1991/927.9%
map depicting local warmest TMAX Winter on record


Coldest Average Temperature

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1948/4920.2%
2nd1977/7813.2%
3rd1935/3611.4%
4th1978/798.8%
5th1898/998.0%
map depicting local coldest TAVG Winter on record

Coldest Minimum Temperature

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1948/4919.3%
2nd1917/1810.6%
3rd1898/9910.4%
4th1976/7710.0%
5th1935/369.0%
map depicting local coldest TMIN Winter on record


Coldest Maximum Temperature

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1977/7819.3%
2nd1948/4917.6%
3rd1935/3614.4%
4th1978/798.7%
5th1904/055.6%
map depicting local coldest TMAX Winter on record


Driest Average Precipitation

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1976/7712.2%
2nd1930/316.7%
3rd2005/065.3%
4th1962/634.8%
5th1980/814.2%
map depicting local driest Winter on record


Wettest Average Precipitation

Rank by AreaWinterExtent
Largest1949/507.1%
2nd1992/936.7%
3rd1991/926.6%
4th1968/695.3%
5th2016/173.6%
map depicting local wettest Winter on record


Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Climate Report for February 2019, published online March 2019, retrieved on July 15, 2019 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201902/supplemental/page-3.

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