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Monthly review February 2023

The winter month of February was clearly too warm in our region and also relatively humid with
below-average sunshine duration.
Compared to the climate reference period 1961-1990, the month was 2.6 degrees too mild with a mean temperature of 2.9 °C. Frost mainly occurred in the first and last decades of the month. Frost mainly occurred in the first and last decades of the month, with the absolute minimum for the month being -17.5°C on 7 February at the Deutschneudorf-Brüderwiese station in the Ore Mountains. The sun shone for a total of 65 hours. This corresponds to a minus of 7 hours.
In terms of precipitation, there were geographical rather than orographic differences and we
observed a clear northeast-southwest gradient. Especially in the north-east of Germany, the monthly totals in February were clearly above the long-term averages. On the other hand, the southwest of Germany suffered from drought. The sum of all individual precipitation measurements reached 44.6 mm in Coswig in February. The monthly total thus corresponded to 135 % of the reference value. We thus registered a relatively wet month - also due to the low normal value in February. The annual precipitation balance so far in 2023 thus reaches a plus of 5 mm.

Weather pattern:
In February 2023, the weather was dominated by frequent high pressure (Fig. 1). In Saxony it often remained overcast like high fog, which in the end was even reflected in a negative sunshine balance.

In the last decade of the month, a meridional flow pattern with a blocking high-altitude system
centred north of the British Isles was established. In this constellation, polar cold air was also
directed to Central Europe, so that it became quite cold here again at the end of the meteorological winter.


Fig.1: High-altitude weather map for 500 hPa of 14.02.2023. Central and Western Europe lie under a powerful high-altitude system centred over Western Germany. This deflects low-pressure areas far to the north and east (source: Berlin weather map).

Autor: Wilfried Küchler

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