By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension
Not to be outdone by January, February temperatures have been much above normal as well. Much of the state will end the month with temperatures about 5-10 degrees F above the long-term average (1991-2020). Locations such as Dayton and Columbus experienced daily high temperatures of at least 70 degrees F on three different days in February, a first for both locations. Despite the continued presence, although weakening La Niña, it was a drier than normal month for much of the state. The exception to this was northwest Ohio, where many counties picked up 125% to 200% of normal precipitation. The warm temperatures have certianly advanced the accumulation of growing degree days, with numerous signs of spring. For a detailed look at growing degree days and to see what might bloom next in your area, check out the The Ohio State Phenology Calendar.
An active weather pattern will continue this week as temperatures remain mostly above average. A few scattered rain showers are possible Tuesday through Thursday, but no widespread rain is expected until Friday when another moisture-laden storm will move in from the southwest. Daily temperatures will vary quite a bit from the mid 40s to low 60s (north to south, and day to day). In the wake of Friday’s system, temperatures will generally cool down into the 30s and 40s for highs with sub-freezing overnight lows. There could be a little snow on the backside of the system for Saturday across the north. Watch local media outlets throughout the week for any changes to the forecast. Overall, the Weather Prediction Center is currently forecasting 1 to 2 inches statewide over the next 7 days, with locally higher amounts possible.
The 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center show temperatures leaning toward cooler than average with near to slightly above average precipitation. Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 43-49 degrees F, a low-temperature range of 24-30 degrees F, and average weekly total precipitation of 0.65-0.95 inches.