February was second colder-than-normal month in 2 years

February's average temperature in Baltimore was below the long-term average, just the second time that has occurred here in two years. It was even colder, on average, than January, and the coldest of what was a relatively mild meteorological winter.

The average temperature at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was 35 degrees, 0.8 degrees below normal. A stretch of months with average temperatures at or above the long term average began in February 2011 and wasn't broken until November.

The average for February 2013 was almost two degrees colder than the month before, whereas January is typically the coldest month of the year in Baltimore.

The winter months from December through February averaged 38.2 degrees, which ranks No. 29 among the mildest winters here dating back to 1871.

Though it was milder than average, it was a far cry from winter 2011-2012, which averaged nearly 41 degrees at BWI. This winter included some of the coldest days in years, with a span of four days that did not rise above freezing and posted lows colder than 20 degrees. On balance, there were also several unusually mild days, including 70-degree days Dec. 3-4 and Jan. 30.

While spring could start out with typical temperatures from the 30s to the 50s, another mild spring could be in store, according to the Climate Prediction Center. The center is forecasting equal chances of above- and below-normal temperatures in March, but likely above-average warmth for April and May.

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