Vrydaghs: What’s with the wacky February weather?

We’re barely two weeks into February and it’s already been a wacky month for weather.

From snow to flooding to tornadoes, the Miami Valley has experienced all four seasons in just about 14 days.

It all started on the first day of the month as the Storm Center 7 team was tracking another winter storm. A quick moving wave of low pressure swept through the region during the overnight hours bringing a swath of dry, snowfall. Snow totals ranged from 2 to 6 inches from south to north. Some of our highest snowfall reports came from Shelby County with nearly 7 inches.

In the days that followed, temperatures dramatically climbed. From Feb. 3-7 the daily high temperatures ranged in the upper 50s to lower 60s. This warmer air would melt a standing 4-inch snowpack on the ground and bring an additional 3 inches of rain, oversaturating the ground. Flash flooding and river flooding created many problems throughout southwest Ohio.

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Daily record rainfall was recorded in Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati on Feb. 7.

A strong line of heavy rain and winds produced a brief, but destructive tornado shortly after 3 p.m. near Pitchen, in Clark County. The twister, determined to be an EF-0 with estimated max winds between 80-85 mph, would travel 7.5 miles before dissipating northwest of South Charleston. It was only on the ground for roughly six minutes. There were no injuries or deaths reported.

Statistically it is uncommon to have a twister in February, but it’s not out of the question.

Just last year two tornadoes were confirmed, one in Clermont County and one in Brown County, shortly after midnight on Feb. 25. The last time the Miami Valley saw a tornado in February was on Feb. 20, 2014. An EF-0 tornado with winds up to 85 mph occur ed in the Phillipsburg area within Montgomery County. Two other twisters happened that day. One in Ripley County, Ind., and one in Delaware County, north of Columbus.

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On Feb. 10, our next round of wintry weather brought snow between 1 to 2 inches followed by a glazing of ice. Numerous slide-offs and crashes were reported due to the slick conditions of the roads.

From winter back to spring is how the start of this week will go. Temperatures are on the rise and so are the rivers. Flood watches have been posted due to prolonged periods of rain accompanied by already saturated ground and rivers running high. Wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible Tuesday afternoon into the night. The saturated ground and strong winds may lead to minor tree damage and sporadic power outages once again.

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Weather whiplash will strike again as temperatures drop quickly Tuesday night with a few snow showers on the back side of the departing storm. This winter chill will bounce back to spring by the end of the week with another potent storm setting up toward Friday.

My advice would be to keep coming back to Channel 7 for updates throughout the week. You can also find the latest information on whio.com.

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