The key weather and climate features in the northern hemisphere in February 2016
  Climate The key weather and climate features in the northern hemisphere in February 2016

The key weather and climate features in the northern hemisphere in February 2016

Air temperature

Abnormally warm weather that prevailed in the European territory of Russia (ETR) in the third decade of January remained the same for the whole February. In the Volga and the Black Earth Regions, in the Urals and the Russian North, in the Crimea and the Central region have been repeatedly registered new daily temperature highs. Anomalies of the average decade temperature reached + 12 ... 13°C. In the south end of the month air warmed up to + 20 ... to 25°C. In the North-West, Central and Urals federal districts last February was the warmest in the history of meteorological observations, i.e., since 1891, and in the Volga - it is the second among the warmest after February 2002. In the Central, Northwest and Volga federal districts, the average temperature in the last February was above the norm of March. As a result, the average air temperature in February in the ETR exceeded the norm by 8-12°C.



Beyond the Urals situation is somewhat different. If in Siberia, as well as in the European territory was very warm (anomalies of average monthly temperature + 6 ... 10°C, and the average decade – up to + 14 ... 16°C), then in the greater part of the Far East prevailed abnormally cold air (except Chukotka), and the average monthly temperature was below normal by 2-4°C. In the Magadan region were even beaten the records of daily temperature minimums. Frost reached -50 ... -55°C.

In Russia as a whole February 2016 should be attributed to the number of very warm monthes. It, though, is not among the three warmest, but locates immediately behind them.

In China, the relatively warm weather in the northeast (the anomaly of monthly temperature up to + 2 ... 3°C) contrasted with the cool in the south and southwest (anomalies - up to -1 ... -2°C). Even lower than the norm, the temperature was in the countries of Indochina. In Bangkok, were recorded the new daily lows of temperature, however, at the same time they were still higher than + 15°C, in the north of Vietnam as a whole over the last month the temperature was lower than the norm by 2-4°C.

Very warm weather was in Central Asia, Pakistan, and the Middle East. New daily highs were recorded in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Israel. In Tashkent, Bukhara, Termez were recorded new absolute temperature maximums for February. However, though from time to time, the cold showed up. At the end of the first decade in Uzbekistan for the first time this winter, it was cold. The thermometer dropped to -5 ... -8°C, and at the end of the second decade cold went to Israel. Although there was not frost, but the 7 ... + 10°C are very law indicators for the south of the country. The cold here was short-lived, and the 30°C heat established there by the end of the month. Mean monthly temperature anomalies in Kazakhstan and Central Asia accounted for 4 ... + 10°C, in the Middle East - + 2 ... 4°C.
In North Africa, the temperature generally conformed to the norm, and only in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean (Egypt, Libya), it exceeded it by 1-2°C.

Europe has once again experienced a very warm winter month. The average monthly temperature in February 2016 has the third rank among the highest values. Particularly noticeably warmer than normal the weather was in Eastern Europe. In Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary daily temperature highs repeatedly overlapped. In Cyprus was recorded an absolute maximum temperature for February. Slightly smaller anomalies were in the center of the continent. In Germany, Austria, Italy, the south of Scandinavia they accounted 2 ... + 3°C. Further to the west in the UK and in the Iberian Peninsula, the temperature of air on average per month was about the norm.

Abnormally warm the last winter month was in North America. In most of the United States, western Canada and Alaska, the average temperature for the month exceeded the norm by 2-7°C. However, the weather here has been unstable. Thus, in the middle of the month in the northeastern United States hit a record strong for this time frosts. In New York, daily minimum temperature was recorded. But in a couple of days the cold was gone, and the air warmed up above normal again.
Absolute maximum of average temperature in February was reached in the Arctic. Here, the average anomaly for the month was + 5°C, and in some areas - + 12-14°C.

In Moscow, the average February temperature was -0.6°C, anomaly of + 7.1°C. This is the fourth value in the ranked list. Even hotter was only February in 1990, 2002 and 1989. The average monthly temperature in February in the capital was above the norm for March.

For the second year in a row, winter in Russian Federation showed a record warm. Last winter (2014/15) established a set of extremely warm scores. The current - exceeded them.

Anomalies of mean air temperature during the winter 2015/16 in many parts of Russia exceeded the norm by 4-5ºC and more. In Siberia, the Yamal and Taimyr anomalies reached + 7 ... 8ºC, on the Arctic islands in the Barents and Kara Seas - + 10 ... 12ºC. Anomalies of average seasonal air temperatures had never been so high. Statistics show that the last winter was the warmest in the Central and Siberian Federal Districts, the second warmest in the Urals Federal District and the third - in the Northwest and Volga federal districts. In almost the entire territory of Russia, average winter temperatures exceeded the norm. The only exceptions are the Kamchatka and the adjacent Kuril Islands, as well as part of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, where the winter was colder than the norm by 1-3ºC.

Extremely warm winter swept not only Russia, but also much of Eurasia and North America. This winter became the warmest in the history of the United States, Europe and the Arctic, the second warmest in Canada and the third - in India. According to the French meteorological service, winter 2015/16 was the warmest in the country since 1900. According to Meteo France «throughout the winter in France were beaten many records, there were twice less frost days in the country than usual". Besides Kamchatka, colder than usual last winter was only in the northern parts of the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and possibly in Central Africa.

Overall, last winter and February 2016 are the warmest in the history of the regular meteorological observations in the Northern Hemisphere. For eleven month in a row, average temperature of the hemisphere reached the absolute maximum. The same applies to the seasons of the year. All four seasons in 2015 and ended winter were the warmest in history.

The temperature of the ocean surface

In the Pacific retained the active phase of the El Niño. Anomalies of the average ocean surface temperature (OST) in the equatorial latitudes exceed +2 ... + 3°C. Mean anomaly of the surface of the ocean remained at the previous month's level - about 0.5ºC. Large negative OST anomalies were observed in the temperate latitudes to the east of Japan and the Sea of Japan.

The average value of mean monthly temperature anomalies of the Atlantic ocean surface in the northern hemisphere was also preserved at the level of the last few months - about 0.5°C. Temperature in the Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico was still much higher than normal water temperatures (anomalies + 1-2°C). To the south of Greenland, on a large water area for a long time formed the negative OST anomalies. In some places, the water temperature was below normal by 1°C or more. Above the norm, OST was in the north - in the Norwegian and Barents Seas. Apparently, this was due to very high temperatures in the Arctic. Usually in February, ice area in the Arctic basin reaches a maximum. This year it was the lowest since 1979, which means since regular satellite observations.


In European Russia and in Siberia it was not only warm in February, but also abnormally wet. Here one can hardly find areas where rainfall for the month was less than normal. These places are Stavropol Region and the Republic of Kalmykia in the European territory; Sverdlovsk region in the Urals and Altai Region and Altai Republic in southern Siberia. On the rest of the vast territory from the western border to Yakutia and the Far East, the amount of precipitation for the month not only reached the norms, but also in many areas considerably exceeded them.  In Karelia and Leningrad region - 2-3, in the central region, the Volga region and the Urals - 1.5-2.0 times. Sometimes it was a heavy snowfall, which added a day 30-50cm to the height of the snow cover.

In the south of the Far East (the Amur region, Maritime and south of Khabarovsk Regions), and in Chukotka rainfall corresponded to norms or sometimes exceeded them, at the rest territory (Kamchatka, Sakhalin, the northern districts of the Khabarovsk Territory, most of Yakutia), there were few of rainfalls, sometimes less than half the norm.

In most parts of China was not enough precipitation. Only in the west of the country, especially in Sichuan Province, rainfalls exceeded the norm in some places by 2.0-2.5 times. In this province, snowfalls are not the common thing. It was therefore particularly surprising that the snowstorm swept there in the middle of the third decade. It has covered the land with the 30-centimeter layer of snow, and has led to the failure of several power lines. In the middle of the month, heavy snowfall hit the Japanese island of Honshu: per day in some places fell to 40cm of snow.

Heavy rains swept through the southeastern Asia. In Malaysia and Indonesia, they caused flooding that forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Rains at this time of year are a common phenomenon, but, according to local officials, these rains were the most powerful in 30 years.

In India and Pakistan, Central Asia and the Middle East, rainfalls were very small. Sometimes they were completely absent. For the local climate, it is normal. More surprising were snow squalls, which for the first time over the past 10 years wrapped up the ground with white veil near Islamabad Pakistan capital. A similar event happened in Uzbekistan in the Kyzylkum desert. Here, snow is also very rare. At the end of the month, heavy rains caused flooding in Israel.

Europe got a lot of rainfall. With the exception of the Scandinavian countries, their rate was close to norm and more. In Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary their amount for the month exceeded the norm in 2.0-2.5 times. In the north of Italy and in Switzerland in 12 hours fell up to 50mm of rain.

In the US, the contrast between the wet east and the dry west is very noticeable. If the of the amount of precipitation in the states of the Atlantic coast exceeded the norm by 1.5-2.0 times or more and they are in the top ten most "wet" in the history of meteorological observations states, then in the Pacific were accumulated only a few millimeters. In some places in California during the past month, citizens have not seen even a drop of rain. It was dry in Mexico. In Canada, the picture was reversed. West of the country - wet (norm exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times), the east - dry (less than half of the monthly norm of precipitation).

In general, during the winter rainfall in the temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere was mostly normal. In Russia, winter precipitation exceeded the norm in most areas of European territory, in Primorye and in the west of Yakutia, but in the north of the Far East, there were few of them. During the winter much more than norm of rainfall went to China (especially the northeastern, western and southern provinces), Kazakhstan, Central Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Belarus. Many of precipitation received the US.  In the Great Lakes region and in the southeastern states the winter norm was exceeded two times or more. There are some regions in the Northern Hemisphere where rainfall over the winter turned out to be significantly less than normal. They are - Mongolia, India and Pakistan, the Central Asian countries, with the exception of Kazakhstan, and the Middle East, Africa, the southeast of Europe, Mexico, some regions of Canada, Alaska, Arizona and southern California in the United States.

In Moscow in the past month fell 64mm of precipitation that made 178% of the norm. Last winter in the capital was full of snow. The amount of rainfall was 202mm. This is the third result in the ranked list. More rain was only in winter 1965/66 and 2000/01. This winter because of warm weather the snow melted quickly, despite its abundance, long and high snow cover did not take place. During the first two months of 2016 in the capital fell almost a quarter of annual precipitation, which usually two times smaller.

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