(Jan. 31, 2011) - While Super Bowl organizers plan to roll out the red carpet for thousands of visitors this week, that carpet may soon be covered with ice and snow. With a Winter Storm Watch in effect for the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, forecasters anticipate freezing rain and sleet Tuesday morning, changing to snow by afternoon.
Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-teens and remain below freezing through most of the week. This dramatic change in the weather comes in the wake of a weekend that saw temperatures in the 70s.
"Early February can certainly have wide swings in temperatures," said Meteorologist Dan Huckaby, climate focal point for the National Weather Service forecast office in Fort Worth. "In North Texas, warm weather and bitter cold can happen on adjacent days at any time during the winter."
Based on 112 years of records for the Dallas/Fort Worth area, high and low temperatures for the first week of February tend to average from the mid-50s to the mid-30s.
But searing heat and even sub-zero daily temperatures are not out of the question. In fact, Jan. 31, 1911 saw a record high of 93 degrees, while minus 2 degrees was the record low on that date in 1949.
Other record breaking daily temperatures include:
|Date||High (year)||Low (year)|
|Feb. 1||91°F (1911)||6°F (1951)|
|Feb. 2||83°F (1995)||7°F (1985)|
|Feb. 3||84°F (1911)||14°F (1996)|
|Feb. 4||82°F (2008)||8°F (1996)|
|Feb. 5||85°F (1942)||12°F (1912)|
|Feb. 6||83°F (1925)||14°F (1982)|
|Jan. 31||1.2" (1985)|
|Feb. 1||1.7" (1985)|
|Feb. 2||1.5" (1996)|
|Feb. 3||0.2" (1956)|
|Feb. 4||0.1" (1989)|
|Feb. 5||3.5" (2002)|
|Feb. 6||2.6" (1961)|
A strong La Niña, characterized by colder ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, began to develop quickly in July. For north Texas, La Niña typically means warmer, dryer winter conditions. And while that is the general outlook, any given week or any given Super Bowl Sunday can tell a very different story.
For more on early February climatology and La Niña winters, visit: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/?n=earlyfebruaryclimatology.