I have posted the climate chart for Brainerd for the month of February. Scroll down the page a little bit, and look on the right side. There is a spot marked climate, and so far I have posted over a years worth of climate date for Brainerd. The February chart, though, includes something different on it, in that it also lists the average highs and lows for each of the dates of the month. Also, beginning with the February chart, I think I’m going to start reporting on some general observations about the weather in Brainerd over the past month. Hopefully, I will be able to do this for every month that follows, but I guess I’ll just have to see whether I’ll be able to continue doing or not.
Back to February though, the month did turn out to be 5°F above normal, fulfilling National Weather Service predictions that the month would indeed turn out to be above normal. The first half of the month was pretty average, with wide variances in temperatures. After the 18th of the month, however, both high and low temperatures remained consistently above normal. I’m pretty convinced that if the jet stream hadn’t taken a more southerly course beginning on the 18th, temperatures in the Brainerd area for the last half of February would have been consistent with the beginning of the month. However, due to the fluctuation in the normal pattern of the jet stream for the last part of February, high pressure systems carrying warm, moist air from the western half of the U.S. were allowed to flow into Minnesota, causing temperatures to become and remain above normal. This pattern has continued, so far, into the month of March, and appears as if it is not going to let up anytime soon.
The warmest maximum temperature recorded in February of 2004 in Brainerd was 43°F on the 18th, which was 16° above the average high temperature for the date. The coldest maximum temperature during the month occurred on the 3rd, when the high temperature made it up to only 7°F, 15° below average for the date. The coldest minimum temperature reached in February was -25°F on the 15th. This was 24° below the average minimum temperature for the date. Meanwhile, the warmest minimum temperature for February was 30°F, reached on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of the month. In total, there were 8 days in February with low temperatures below zero. Since the beginning of 2004, there have been 26 days with low temperatures below zero degrees.
The only record broken for the month of February was on the 15th of the month, when the low temperature for the date reached -25°F. This broke the old record of -24°F from 1949.
The high temperature of 34°F on the 13th of the month was certainly cause for many to rejoice in the Brainerd area, since it marked the end of a 41 day streak of continuous below freezing temperatures. The last time the temperature had gotten above freezing was January 2nd.
Officially, 7.6 inches of snow fell in Brainerd during February, amounting to 0.34 inches of precipitation for the entire month. This total was below the 0.66 inches of precipitation that usually falls in February.
Because February 29th only comes around once every four years, the low temperature on February 29th, 2004 of 30°F will most likely have an impact on the average low of the date next time the 25-year average temperatures for the Brainerd area are calculated. In 2000, the last time there was a February 29th, not only did the high temperature for the day break a record (52°F), but the low temperature was also 28° above normal. So, because of the unusually warm leap days of 2000 and 2004, it might not be surprising to see a big difference in the average temperatures of the 29th of February next time averages are released, which should be around the year 2025.