, Salem, MA

March 5, 2014

Good riddance to February 2014


---- — SALEM — So how bad was February?

Although this will not come as a news flash, it was one of the coldest and snowiest Februaries in years, according to Arthur Francis, who provides statistics to the National Weather Service from an official weather station in South Salem.

Since he started keeping records in 1977, the average temperature for the month of February has been 30 degrees.

The average temperature last month was just over 26 degrees, which is a significant statistical decline, according to Francis, who taught weather and climate at Salem State University for nearly three decades.

That makes February 2014 the coldest in more than a decade and the second coldest in the last 21 years.

“It was much colder than normal,” he said.

There was also a lot more snow.

The nearly 28 inches of snow that fell last month made it the fourth-snowiest February since Francis started keeping records. The record — at least at the Salem weather station — was 44 inches of snow in 1994.

On the bright side — yes, there is a bright side — February was warmer than January, when the average temperature was 25.8 degrees.

And here’s a bold prediction: Spring is coming.

Tom Dalton can be reached at