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Capital Weather Gang

Scores of northeastern U.S. cities just had their warmest February ever recorded

By Jason Samenow

February 24, 2017 at 4:42 PM

Temperature difference from normal at 1 p.m. Friday analyzed by GFS model.

In many parts of the northeastern United States, Friday's temperatures reached their highest February levels in recorded history. Cities that frequently are buried in snow enjoyed temperatures that soared into the 70s. Their residents, normally huddled up indoors, flocked outside in shorts and T-shirts.

The temperatures were more than 30 degrees above normal and typical of late May. They broke records that have stood for more than a century in many cities.

Boston, Buffalo and Cincinnati are just a few of the cities that achieved all-time record February warmth.

Locations at or near monthly records at 3 p.m. Friday. (

Below is a partial list of the cities that tied or broke all-time records for February warmth on Friday:

Many other cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, not listed, set high temperature records for today's date and/or hit highs that rank very close to the highest in recorded history for February.

Pittsburgh hit 76 degrees, just one degree shy of its all-time February high. Hartford, Conn., also posted its second-warmest February day, soaring to 72 degrees. And Washington, D.C., registered 77 degrees, its sixth-warmest February temperature ever observed.

Related: [Lower 48 basks in near-warmest February air in three decades]

The record February highs set in the Northeast mark a continuation of historic warmth that spread across the eastern two-thirds of the country and into Canada over the course of the week.

Burlington, Vt.; Albany, N.Y.; and Toronto set all-time February record highs on Thursday. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin cities of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay accomplished the feat.

All of this record-breaking warmth caps off an abnormally warm month for much of the Lower 48. Incredibly, the National Oceanic Administration has logged 4,492 record-high temperatures compared with just 29 record lows — which equates to a quite lopsided ratio of 155 to 1.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.

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