Warmest February on record

Najcieplejszy luty

Second month of 2024. brought record high temperatures to many parts of the country. There is a shortage of snow in the mountains, ski resorts shine with emptiness, in parks and forests nature prematurely awakens to life. So far, it is difficult to fully assess the consequences of the warmest February yet, but scientists warn that we can expect similar anomalies in future years, and not just in winter.

Heat records in southern Poland

The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB) in a message issued on social media on February 28 this year. reported that in Tarnow, thermometers showed 19.1°C! A day earlier, 17.3°C was recorded in Katowice, Rzeszow and Czestochowa. Evaluating the weather from the perspective of the entire month and historical measurements over the past 30 years, the average air temperature anomaly was as high as +6°C. Thus, the 1990 record for monthly average temperature was broken. Moreover, on February 27, thermometer readings at IMGW-PIB stations showed a daily anomaly of +12.1°C. On Kasprowy Wierch, the snow cover decreased by 12 cm in one day alone.

The warmest February was felt primarily by residents of southeastern Poland. The mercury column reached record levels, among others. In Lublin, Zamosc, Kozienice and Wieluń. Temperatures above 10°C were recorded at 29 stations across the country. Considering multi-year weather data, the shortest month of 2024 ranked above the 95 percent quantile. maximum daily temperatures. According to forecasts by IMGW-PIB, high temperatures may continue until March 4. After that, meteorologists expect a moderate cooling.

Not the first and not the last such February?

Weather anomalies have been occurring with increasing frequency in recent years. On February 25, 2021. Maków Podhalański recorded 22.1°C – the highest daily temperature for February in 30 years. The previous record of 21.4°C was set in 1990. For the sake of argument, let’s add that between 1991 and 2020, the area average air temperature in Poland in February was-0.1°C. However, in 2021 it was already 1.6°C, the next year 3.2°C, and the year after that 1.5°C. This year’s warmest February in three decades seems to clearly confirm the fact of global warming.

Dr. Jerzy Kozyra of the Department of Bioeconomy and System Analysis at the Institute of Fertilization and Soil Science in Puławy, in an interview on Radio Lublin, noted that we are already dealing with a disruption in the order of the seasons. Increasingly, warm air from the south is coming over Poland, bringing unprecedentedly high temperatures, both in winter – that’s where the warmest February comes from – and in summer, when heat waves hit us. Dr. Miroslawa Malinowska, a climatologist at the University of Gdansk, even suggests that Poland’s climate will evolve toward two seasons typical of the subtropical zone: warm and dry and cool and wet.

Warmest February in other regions of the world as well

According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), as early as January 2024. was the warmest recorded first month of the year worldwide in the history of meteorology. The global area average air temperature was 13.14°C, 0.7°C higher than the average for the 1991-2020 period. It was also the eighth consecutive month of global heat records. February is the ninth.

Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who has been tracking and reporting on extreme global temperatures for years, reports that 140 countries around the world set heat records in the first half of February alone. Heat waves swept through, among others. Through South Africa, Chad, Morocco, Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives, Mexico and Paraguay. It was unusually warm in six states in the central US – in Missouri the mercury column exceeded 32°C. More than 20°C was registered in Romania and Hungary, and above 18°C thermometers showed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The warmest February on record was also recorded in the Netherlands and Belgium.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), not only climate change but also the impact of El Niño is responsible for the current records. The warm weather phenomenon from the Pacific is beginning to wane, to say the least, but the warmest February on record is undoubtedly to its credit. Between April and June, El Niño is expected to end its nagging activity, raising hopes that the rise in temperatures will be limited in the coming months.

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