Colder, wetter February in forecast

February likely will be colder and wetter than normal in the Tri-Cities, predicts the National Weather Service.

That's a reversal of January, which had warmer and drier weather than usual and set two new daily high temperature records at Hanford.

Normal highs for the Tri-Cities in February are 48 degrees and normal lows are 30.3 degrees. Normal precipitation is 0.79 inches.

In January, temperatures in the Tri-Cities averaged 37.1 degrees, which was 3.2 degrees above normal. Highs averaged 44.2 degrees, which was 3.6 degrees above normal.

The highest temperature of the month was 64 degrees on Jan. 15, a day before strong winds and rain hit the Tri-Cities.

Low temperatures averaged 30.1 degrees, which was 2.9 degrees above normal. The lowest temperature in the Tri-Cities was 14 degrees on Jan. 2. Temperatures on 16 days fell below freezing, and on seven days the high temperature also was below freezing.

At Hanford, daily temperature records were set when highs reached 63 degrees on Jan. 16 and 59 degrees the next day, according to the Hanford Meteorological Station. The station keeps weather data back to 1945, making it some of the most complete historical data available near the Tri-Cities.

The warmest temperature recorded at Hanford last month was the record set Jan. 16, and the coldest was 8 degrees on Jan. 3.

In the Tri-Cities, precipitation totaled 0.39 inches in January, which was 0.66 inches below normal, according to the Weather Service. Almost half of that fell Jan. 16. Snowfall totaled 1 inch, with the only measurable snowfall on Jan. 12.

Since October, which is the start of the water year, precipitation in the Tri-Cities has totaled 5.01 inches, which is 1.49 inches above normal.

At Hanford, 0.53 inches of precipitation was recorded in January and 1.2 inches of snow fell. All measurable snowfall was on Jan. 11 and 12.

The peak wind gust for the month in the Tri-Cities was 51 mph on Jan. 16, the same day as the heavy rainfall. At Hanford, a gust of 55 degrees was recorded the same day, with the peak gust for the month 56 mph the next day.