Valentine’s Day Climate Across America

Chocolates, flowers, and jewelry, oh my! While these might be a few of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, we wanted to gift our readers with some fun Valentine’s Day weather trivia!

February is the third coldest month of the year, with the average temperature of the lower 48 measuring around 34°F. The coldest February on record occurred in 1936 with an average temperature of 25.2°F for the continental US (those living in North Dakota dealt with average temperatures of 14.1°F below zero!) and the warmest occurred in 1954 with an average temperature of 41.4°F for the continental US. Since 1895, the temperature of the contiguous United States has steadily increased at a rate of 3.1°F per century.  When looking at the country’s entire period of record, February is warming faster than any other month of the year.

In such a geographically and climatologically diverse country, average conditions can vary from day to day and from place to place across the United States.  NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information gathered averages for the daily minimum, maximum, and average temperatures on Valentine’s Day for ten locations across the US with Valentine’s themed names. The table below shows the spread of those temperatures, from a balmy Kissimmee, Florida to a frigid Romeoville, Illinois.

Credit: NOAA NCEI

In comparison, Albany, New York has a record maximum temperature of 63°F (set in 1946) and a record minimum temperature of -13°F (set in 2016). The wettest and snowiest Valentine’s Day in the Capital Region occurred in 1914 with 1.51 inches total liquid equivalent precipitation. Liquid equivalent precipitation is the sum total of any rainfall, plus any frozen precipitation which has been melted down into liquid form.  23.5 inches of snowfall fell at the Albany International Airport, making it Albany’s sixth greatest snow storm of all time.

Courtesy NOAA/NWS Albany.

Out of Albany’s ten greatest snow storms of February, three have fallen on Cupid’s favorite day of the year. The infamous storm of 1914 maintains its rank as the greatest February storm in Albany. The Valentine’s Day Storm of 2007 and the 1950 snow storm that lingered from February 13-16 also made it into the list of Albany’s greatest snow falls in February.

Courtesy NOAA/NWS Albany.

What’s the actual weather look like for this Valentine’s Day? In the Capital Region of New York, we are expecting a partly sunny day with highs in the upper thirties and lows in the upper twenties. Although rain is expected into the weekend, no precipitation is expected to rain on your Valentine’s parade! Bundle up if you are heading out to celebrate, and be sure to check weather.gov for the latest and most up-to-date forecasts.

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