Last month was Baltimore's second-coldest February on record

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The Inner Harbor frozen over on a late February day.

February 2015 ended in Baltimore with an average temperature of 25.3 degrees, the coldest for that month since 1934 and for any month since 1989.

Only three times has a month been colder here: in February 1934, when temperatures averaged 24.3 degrees at the U.S. Customs House downtown; in January 1918, with an average of 24.1 degrees at the Customs House; and in January 1977, which averaged 22.9 degrees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Baltimore's point of record moved from the Customs House to what was then Friendship Airport in 1950.


December 1989 meanwhile equaled last month's average at BWI.

Last month included some of the area's coldest temperatures in more than a decade. The 1-degree low Feb. 20 at BWI was the coldest there since Jan. 19, 1997, according to the National Weather Service. Before that, it hadn't been colder since Feb. 4, 1996, when BWI reached 1 degree below zero.


The record-setting month of February 1934 was a remarkable one, according to Sun archives.

During the month, snow falling on massive floes of ice in the bay thickened them by several inches, and made the waters so difficult to navigate that the Coast Guard Cutter Apache could not get past North Point. Steamship service between Baltimore and Norfolk was halted, with many buoys carried away by ice.

The month's cold temperatures, ice and snow was estimated to cost $1.6 million, the equivalent of nearly $28 million today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If history is to repeat itself, we could be in for a wintry March. Ice and snow continued into March that year, with 10 inches of snow in the first 10 days of the month, according to Sun archives.

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell contributed to this report.