This February will go down as the 4th coldest in Calgary's history

February is just about over and many Calgarians will be saying good riddance to a cold and snowy month, the likes of which we haven't seen in decades.

We barely cracked the zero-degree mark

The Bow River was thick with ice this month, the 4th-coldest February on record in Calgary. (CBC)

February is just about over and many Calgarians will be saying good riddance to a cold and snowy month, the likes of which we haven't seen in decades.

This will go down as the fourth-coldest February in the city's history, based on average-temperature data dating back to 1882.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday — the last day of the month — the average temperature for February stood at –18.1 C.

If the forecast for the rest of the day holds, we'll end up at a final, monthly average of –18 C.

Only three Februaries have been colder in the city's history.

Here are the coldest months in Environment Canada's weather archives, as recorded near where the Calgary International Airport now stands:

  • February 1936: –24.5 C
  • February 1887: –20.1 C
  • February 1904: –18.4 C
  • February 2019: –18 C (expected)
  • February 1891: –17.4 C
  • February 1979: –16.8 C

This February saw several extended cold snaps and no relief from chinooks, which are sometimes known to boost Calgary's winter temperatures above zero.

But not this month.

At or below zero all month long

The highest temperature recorded for the entire month was 0 C.

That came — briefly — at 1 p.m. on Feb. 22.

The coldest temperature, meanwhile, was –29.2 C, recorded at 8 a.m. on Feb. 10.

Snow was also unusually frequent this February.

There was at least a trace of snow recorded on 24 of the first 27 days this month.

That's tied with February 1979 for the most snow days ever recorded in the month, according to YYC Weather Records — a Twitter account run by computer scientist Rolf Campbell that uses Environment Canada's historical weather data to highlight milestones of note.

If Environment Canada records at least a trace of snow on Thursday, it would push the total to 25 snow days out of 28 days this month — the most ever recorded.

The normal temperature for Calgary in February, in case you were wondering, is –5.4 C.

But if you're tired of winter at this point, don't expect any immediate relief when March arrives.

The Weather Network's long-term forecast is calling for daytime highs to remain below zero for the first week of the new month, with temperatures finally rising into positive territory around March 9.


  • An earlier version of this story said February never cracked the zero degree mark, when it did hit 0.6 C on one occasion.
    Mar 02, 2019 1:05 PM MT


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?