Lake Shore Drive, so often buried in frozen precipitation, has been smooth-sailing. Boating down the Chicago River in winter never looked so good. Chicago’s average temperature last month was nearly 11 degrees warmer than normal, making it the third-warmest February on record for the Windy City.
The jet stream over was amped way north into Canada which put pretty much all of the U.S. east of the Rockies in a warm air mass. The pattern was so odd it led to new records from the Upper Midwest to the Southeast to New England. It was the warmest February for Atlanta; Cleveland; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Philadelphia and New York City, to name just a few.
If February alone, more than 10,000 daily warm records were broken or tied in the U.S., compared to around 350 cold records. That pretty much sums it up this winter.