Air temperature
In the first decade of February, the air temperatures in the north of the Urals and of the ETR were noticeably higher than normal. The decade-averaged temperature anomalies on the coast of the Kara Sea were as high as +8-11°* or more. The temperature background in the rest of the country either fluctuated around the normal value, or was sub-normal. Negative anomalies reached two or more degrees in the Crimea or the Krasnodar Territory in the south, and were -4…-6° or lower in Yakutia and in the Far East. In the Amur region, frosts reached -40° sometimes, while in Sakhalin, new daily minima as low as -35° were set. An interesting picture was observed in the Crimea: frosts were so hard that the Uchan-Su waterfall on the southern slope of the Mount Ai-Petri froze, and its entire water stream a hundred metres high turned into an ice rock.
The temperature distribution in the second decade was similar. Very cold weather in Yakutia and Chukotka resulted in new daily temperature minima down to -50…-55°, and warm weather survived in the same areas as in the first decade, in particular, leading to new daily maxima of air temperature on the coast of the Kara Sea.
But in the third decade, the weather changed quite noticeably: it remained cold in the north-east of the country only. There, the decade-averaged anomalies were -3…-5°, i.e., roughly the same as in the north of the ETR where the cold replaced the warmth of the previous February days. The rest of the Russian territory became an oasis of warmth extending from the Crimea to Primorye, featuring the decade-averaged temperature anomalies of 3-10° and producing new daily maxima recorded therein.
As a result, the monthly-averaged temperature in most of the country was 2-8° higher than normal. The weather noticeably colder than usual was observed in the east of Yakutia and in most of the Far East only (with anomalies of -2…-4°); in addition, the North Caucasus was the area of weak negative anomalies. The average temperature in February entered the top ten of most highly ranked values in the Urals only, and was outside this list in other federal districts as well as in Russia as a whole.
Regarding the overall winter season, the average air temperature may be deemed close to normal in the entire country (with a half-degree negative anomaly), basically above-normal in the ETR, and sub-normal in the ATR. The anomalies amounted to +2…4° in the European North and in Chukotka, and to -2° or lower than that in Siberia, Yakutia and most of the Far East.
This February, the climatic conditions in almost all foreign Asia save for the Middle East were abnormally warm, or close to normal. The normal monthly-averaged temperature, reached against the background of positive anomalies, was observed in most of China, as well as in Japan, South-East Asia, India and the Middle East. The normal values in the north and north-east of China, in Mongolia, in most of Central Asia and in Pakistan were exceeded by two or more degrees. In China and India, this February was among the top ten warmest in the entire history of meteorological observations, i.e., since 1891. In the Middle East, in Turkey, in the countries of the Levant and Transcaucasia, as well as in Israel, the monthly-averaged air temperature was close to normal, albeit that against the negative background of anomalies.
The temperature in North Africa was also close to normal, with weak negative anomalies in the east and north, and weak positive ones in the west.
Almost all February, Europe was under the spell of the Atlantic heat, so that the monthly-averaged air temperatures were higher than normal there, e.g., 2-3 or more degrees higher in the north of the continent. New temperature maxima were reported in the UK, in France, Austria, Germany, Croatia and North Macedonia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in Romania. The air in some locations would heat up to +20°. After the arctic air hit the south of Western Europe in the last days of the month, the thermometer readings in the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea dropped to -2°.
In North America, cold weather prevailed in February. Frosts of unusual strength were observed in the east of Canada and in the northern United States. The air temperature of -43.7° recorded in the US state of New Hampshire was an absolute minimum in the entire history of meteorological observations. New daily temperature minima were set in Boston where no similar colds had been seen for more than 65 years. The monthly-averaged temperature in Canada was below normal almost everywhere, down to 2-4 or more degrees below in some locations. In neighbouring Alaska, the anomalies were about the same, whereas in the western US, they reached -2°. The weather was warmer than usual in the eastern US and in Central America only. The normal monthly-averaged temperatures in the US states located along the eastern coast were exceeded by 2-4 or more degrees. The monthly-averaged air temperatures everywhere from Indiana and Ohio to North Carolina and Florida were ranked the second to third highest in the history of observations.
Considering the entire Northern Hemisphere, its average temperature in February was among the top five highest.
The same rank can be awarded to the average temperature in winter. The normal winter figures were exceed by 2-4° in the north-east of North America, in the south-east of Europe, in the Near East and in the above-mentioned regions of Russia. Negative anomalies were located in the north-west of North America and in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean, covered Island, the south of Greenland and partially the UK, and took place in Central Asia, in the Middle East, as well as along the Pacific coast of Asia and in a number of regions of Russia.
In Moscow, the average temperature in February was -4.1°, with an anomaly of +1.8°, and the average temperature in winter was -4.3°, exceeding the normal value by 1.3°.
Sea Surface Temperature
Dramatic weakening of La Niña, a cold episode of the Southern Oscillation, was apparent in the tropical zone of the Pacific Ocean. This February, no negative SST anomalies reaching 1° where observed on the Ocean surface; at the same time, the area of negative anomalies shrunk quite noticeably, especially in the Southern Hemisphere where it reached the coast of Chile at S 20-40° before, but did not cross a 10° latitude now, approaching it in the central part of the Ocean only. According to the specialists, La Niña should complete in spring.
The SST in other water bodies of the Atlantic Ocean almost never exceeded the normal values in the Northern Hemisphere – most remarkably, off the coast of Asia, and in the centre of the Ocean where the anomalies higher than +1° were observed. The average SST values of February 2021 and 2022 were reproduced to reach the absolute maximum first recorded in 2004.
As for the Atlantic Ocean, an absolute maximum of the monthly-averaged temperatures dated February 2022 survived once again. Remind that January 2022 was also extremely warm for the Atlantic Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere, with no negative monthly-averaged temperature anomalies ever observed over the Ocean surface. But this month, large positive anomalies of +1…+2° or higher were spreading far from the US coast and far east of the Gulf of Mexico to the Central part of the Ocean supplying very warm water to the coasts of Eurasia, to the Baltic and Back Seas, as well to the east of the Mediterranean Sea in particular.
Most Russia received a lot of precipitation in February. The normal amount was reached in the North West Federal District and exceeded by 1.5 or more times in its western part. In general, this was due to the last decade of the month when up to a half of daily precipitation totals were measured and new daily maxima were set in the Novgorod, Pskov and Vologda Regions. Similar words can be said about the Murmansk Region as well.
The precipitation amounts were normal or above-normal in the Central and Volga Federal Districts, by 1.5 or more times above in some entities of the Federation (including the Kaluga, Smolensk, Bryansk and Orenburg Regions).
Much precipitation came to the south of Russia. Heavy downpours hit Cuban where new daily precipitation maxima were recorded, and ended up in a new absolute monthly precipitation total in Tuapse. Snow inundated the Stavropol and Kalmykia Territories. The normal monthly precipitation figures were exceeded by two times in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories as well as in the Astrakhan Region and Adygeya, and by three or more times in Kalmykia.
The Urals got either normal or above-normal precipitation. New daily maxima were observed in the Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Districts. The precipitation quantities in Siberia were normal, with the exception of its southern territories (the Kemerovo Region and the Republics of Khakassia and Tyva). The precipitation in the Far Eastern Federal District was normal in Buryatia, Yakutia and the Amur Region only, and scarce elsewhere in the District.
The precipitation figures in the central regions of China were impressive and reached 1.5-2.0 or more times the normal totals, and deficient in the rest of the country as well as in neighbouring Mongolia and Korea. In Japan, heavy snowfalls attacked the island of Hokkaido as well as the capital Tokyo on the island of Honshu, while the southern islands were almost unaffected by precipitation.
The amounts of precipitation in the countries of South-East Asia were also small, with the exception of Indonesia where heavy rains caused floods on the island of Sulawesi and deprived thousands of people of their homes.
India, Pakistan as well as the countries of the Middle and Near East received less than the normal precipitation amounts. In Israel, a snow storm with rain at the beginning of the month brought more than 120 mm of precipitation in two days to produce a snow cover in the north of the country. Snowfalls were also heavy in Iran where snow banks reached a two-metre height in mountainous areas.
A lot of precipitation was observed in Central Asia, with intense rains and new daily precipitation totals in Uzbekistan. The monthly precipitation totals in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were two to three times greater than normal.
Almost no precipitation fell in North Africa apart from some locations near the Gulf of Guinea and the Mediterranean coast, and in Morocco where heavy rains with snow pounced upon at the end of the month so that the height of freshly fallen snow in certain regions reached 20-50 cm.
Based on the February score, the amounts of atmospheric moisture in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were normal or increased. Abundant rains and heavy snowfalls passed over the Balkan countries. Snowfalls in Athens can be regarded quite rare phenomena far from being observed each winter, but the one that occurred this month happened for the third winter in succession. Rains in Romania caused floods. At the beginning of February, heavy snowfalls took place in Austria and in the north of Italy. The weather in the west of the continent was dry everywhere with the exception of the Iberian Peninsula. Météo France reported that the country was experiencing the worst drought for the past sixty years. After a dry winter in Venice, the water level in the channels dropped so dramatically that the gondolas could not float along them anymore. Generous precipitation was measured in Spain and Portugal. In the north of Spain, a heavy snowfall in the mountains brought up to 20 cm of snow in a single day. Snow even fell in the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean where the height of freshly fallen snow reached 40 cm. In the resort of Mallorca, beaches covered with a white fluffy blanket of snow looked very exotic.
A snow storm that swept from the west to the east of the US brought a huge amount of precipitation. As a result, the normal monthly precipitation values were exceeded by 2.0-2.5 times in the Great Lakes region and by 1.5-2.0 times to the south of it, and new maxima of snow cover height were recorded. The country could be divided along 100W, with large or even huge monthly precipitation amounts to the east, and normal or sub-normal, to the west. The north-western states received much less precipitation than normal. Snow in February was even observed in the south of the country: in Texas, California as well as in Hawaii. In Canada, the precipitation amounts were sufficient in the south-east of the country and along the Pacific coast. Virtually no precipitation was observed in the rest of the country, and the same can be said about Mexico.
Considering this winter in overall, the precipitation totals were normal in the US or even noticeably greater than normal in a number of the states, but apparently less than normal in Canada and Mexico. The winter precipitation averages in Africa, in most of foreign Asia and in the west of Europe were also less than normal. In the east of the continent and in Russia, they basically reached the normal values.
In Moscow, the monthly precipitation total in February was 44 mm, which is normal. As for the whole winter, 210 mm of precipitation accumulated, amounting to the fourth highest value in the meteorological chronicle of the capital, where the record-breaking achievement of 244 mm in this chronicle belongs to winter 1966.
* The air temperature anomalies have been calculated basing on the normal values for 1991-2020, and the anomalies of precipitation totals, basing on the normal values for 1961-1990. The latter does not apply to Moscow where the normal values for 1991-2020 have been used.
Hydrometcentre of Russia