WASHINGTON — Climate scientists say a freakishly warm February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States. But it didn't quite beat 1954 for the nation's warmest February on record.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday reports that the average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees. That's 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record.
NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch says it was record warm for most of the United States east of the Rockies, but a cool Pacific Northwest kept the national record from falling. Chicago had no snow. Oklahoma hit 99 degrees.
An international science team's computer analysis of causes of extreme weather calculates that man-made global warming tripled the likelihood for the nation's unusually warm February.