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Las Vegas was cold in February, might repeat in March

If Las Vegans said they felt the cold in February they would be right on the money.

And the cool/cold trend could continue into March.

The average daily temperature (the average of the high and low each day) at Harry Reid International Airport was 49.2, which was 4.3 degrees below the February norm of 53.5 degrees.

That made it the 27th coldest February since such record-keeping began in 1937 at the local office of the National Weather Service.

“It was quite a bit cooler than average, but that’s probably not a surprise,” meteorologist Chris Outler said.

February 1939 holds the record for the coldest at an average of 41.2 degrees.

This year the coldest temperature at the airport was 30 on Feb. 1 and the highest was 70 on Feb. 21.

A seemingly monthlong string of storms coming inland from the Pacific Ocean contributed to the cold trend, but did not bring excess precipitation, Outler noted.

The airport, the official measuring station for the Las Vegas Valley, logged .26 of an inch of precipitation, .54 of an inch below the February normal.

“We had the storm, cold and wind, but we didn’t squeeze out a lot of moisture from them,” Outler said. “It was a relentless storm pattern, but other parts of the valley obviously got more.”

Lee Canyon in the Spring Mountains would be target No. 1 for snowfall with the resort ending February at 207 inches of snowfall since the start of the winter sports season and another foot or more expected Wednesday night. The record for any season is 255 inches.

As for a cool trend in March, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center released estimates Tuesday that project a 50 percent chance of below normal temperatures in March and a 40 percent chance of higher than normal precipitation.

Cooler weather and wetter weather would help the well above average snowpack conditions across the West.

The average daily temperature for March is 60.8 while the average March rainfall is .42 of an inch.

But on Wednesday’s stormy morning, the airport recorded .22 of an inch with a chance for some precipitation later in the day.

“We’re already halfway there for March,” Outler said.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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