- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - February conspired to have it both ways weather-wise _ more snow and less ice than normal.

In the Northern Hemisphere snow covered 670,000 square miles (1.74 million square kilometers) more than the average of 17.6 million square miles (45.6 million square kilometers) for the month, according to a satellite analysis by Rutgers University.

It was the second consecutive February with above-average snow cover and both the North America and Eurasia areas had more snow than usual, the National Climatic Data Center reported.

However, average Arctic sea ice extent for February was 5.54 million square miles (14.36 million square kilometers), which is 8.2 percent below average. This ties with February 2005 as the smallest February Arctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979.

Worldwide, according to the climatic center’s monthly analysis, it was the 17th warmest February since record keeping began in 1880. The center said the La Nina warming of the central Pacific Ocean was a significant factor in the temperatures.

The combined global land and ocean average temperature for the month was 54.62 Fahrenheit (12.5 Celsius), which is 0.72 F (0.4 C) above the 20th century average for February.


Online: https://www.noaa.gov

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