Now that it is March, for we meteorologists ‘Climatological Winter’ is over and Climatological Spring has begun. It’s time to look back at the winter of 2021. There’s no doubt that 2020 was a year that all of us would like to forget both in terms of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and in terms of the unusually active weather that we experienced. We had an extremely active severe weather season with the month of April that featured a historic hail storm and another Easter Sunday outbreak of tornadoes. That was followed by a record-breaking hurricane season that saw several named storms impact some part of the ArkLaTex.
After reasonably quiet autumn, it kind of looked like 2021 would get off to a more normal start. Uh, not quite. You may recall that the outlook for this winter was that we would experience warmer than normal temperatures on average and drier than normal precipitation. That would have been accurate if it weren’t for the middle of February.
According to the National Weather Service, Shreveport received 8.7″ of snow/sleet this winter. That makes this winter the third snowiest on record including the snowiest February on record. We also experienced a cold that we haven’t had in over 90 years. The low temperature of 1 degree on February 16 obviously broke the record for that date. It became the fourth coldest temperature EVER recorded in Shreveport. Ironically, the all-time record low of -5 was recorded on February 12, 1899.
It’s funny how things can average out. When you factor in temperatures and precipitation from December and January, this winter was rather, well, average with slightly colder than normal temperatures and slightly wetter than normal precipitation. Now it’s time to look forward to spring and severe weather season. Unfortunately, it looks like it could be more active than normal. Surprised?