Although February is the shortest month of the year, in 2017 it had an exceptional amount of intense weather.
The final hours of the month were viciously stormy, as an outbreak of severe thunderstorms including tornadoes, large hail, and damaging straight-line winds escalated during the evening of the 28th, anomalously far north for so early in the season, as were tornadoes in the Northeast a few days prior.
One of the supercells appeared as it did on the 3-D radar image above while passing directly over the radar site near Evansville because the radar beam doesn’t point directly overhead, thus a “cone of silence.”
Shortly before that, it looked like this.
Earlier in the month, rotation can be seen intensifying as a tornado developed and hit New Orleans East.
While the month was overall an exceptionally warm one in much of the country including the East Coast, the atmosphere in February somehow found a way to do what it uncannily so often does, which is create big Northeast snowstorms.
Three meteorological bombs (a central pressure drop of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours) exploded near New England and the Canadian Maritimes within a week in the first part of the month. Here are two of them, a large cyclone which had by then moved farther east, and its smaller sibling.
The sharp pressure drop at a buoy near the Canadian Maritimes from two consecutive bombs:
Check out this “bombogenesis”!
An odd band of snow from Maine into Canada on the northwest fringe of a storm on February 9:
Speaking of odd, this system moved ESE from the central Gulf Coast to Florida and Cuba, an unusual track. Then it swirled near the Bahamas:
And that was the same system which a week earlier slammed SoCal with heavy rain and strong wind, looking gnarly as it moved in from the Pacific.
That storm brought a soaking rain squarely into where the last bit of extreme drought remained, and the red sliver disappeared on the next Drought Monitor update.
When that system was between the West Coast and East Coast, there was a loooong south-to-north fetch of moisture all the way from the tropics to Canada.
This wild-looking cyclone was spinning over the eastern Atlantic while many people were glued to the Super Bowl … including Atlanta residents like me. :\
And, for fun, let’s end with faces in the imagery!
A freaky one in the Pacific toward the end of the month (image rotated so that north is at the bottom).
And this Pineapple Express flow of moisture looked like a sea animal 🐟 🙂