February may go into the record books as the coldest in 35 years.
That's according to Pat Guinan, state climatologist at the University of Missouri. "December and January were cold, but February was colder," he said. "Temperatures ran 12 degrees below normal in northern Missouri and 9 degrees colder in the south."
Guinan said preliminary data indicates a state average high of 25 degrees, which is 9 degrees below normal.
"That's colder than February 1989, and once we get the rest of our data, it looks to be the coldest February since 1979, which was brutally cold," he said.
Guinan said this winter could rank ninth coldest in Missouri history.
Usually, Guinan waits until all reports are in before issuing his monthly report, but this year, with polar air entrenched over the Midwest, he gave his update on Friday, which is known as the "meteorological end of winter."
Overall, February precipitation averaged below normal. Preliminary data shows a state average of 1.3 inches of precipitation, about three-fourths of an inch below normal.
While there has been more snow than usual, precipitation totals run below average across an expanding area of Missouri. Northern Missouri, which rated abnormally dry, saw relief with the snow.
However, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the dry area pushing into Southern Missouri.