Warmer and drier February expected

Posted at 2:55 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 16:55:27-05

Here's a reason to look forward to Monday (well, this Monday anyway)! This Monday is February 1st, and in metro Detroit that is the day when our average high temperatures start to head UP!

If you're not a big fan of the cold weather, it's the day we turn the corner toward spring. On January 31, our average high is 32 degrees F, but on the eve of Groundhog Day, the average high pokes up to 33.

Almost six weeks after the days started getting just a little bit longer, those longer days and shorter nights start working more effectively against the cold air masses that typically invade our region. Of course, all the usual disclaimers apply here, like:

- It can still get very cold in February, like it did on February 9, 1875, when we hit 20 below zero. But the climate was different back then.

- We often have long stretches of days when we don't climb above freezing, especially in the first half of the month.

- Snow can still wallop us hard in February. Just last year, February 1-2 brought us a 16.7" snowstorm, our third heaviest snowstorm on record. You didn't forget that already, did you?

But to help you get past those disclaimers, consider the long range outlook for February recently issued by the National Climatic Data Center. It calls for temperatures to be above average for the month of February, and for precipitation, a combination of both rain and snow, to be below average throughout Michigan.

And by the end of the month (which has 29 days this year), the average high will have risen to 39 degrees. Can you hear the drip, drip, drip?

So if you love winter and the fun things it can bring, you've still got time to enjoy it.

If you don't, the light at the end of the tunnel is going to be getting brighter very soon.

So no matter what the furry little groundhog says on Tuesday, a winter not nearly as severe as our last couple will, before long, be in our rear view mirror.