ORLANDO, Fla. – February 2018 was the warmest on record across most of East Central Florida, along with drier-than-normal weather conditions.
Temperatures started out near normal in February, with only a couple of weak cold fronts moving during the first week. Beyond that, well-above-normal temperatures generally persisted over the region for the remainder of the month as a strong ridge of high pressure locked in place over the Sunshine State.
Daily average highs were often 10 to 15 degrees above average.
With temperatures well above normal for most of the month, Orlando, Sanford and Melbourne all experienced their warmest February in record history, while Daytona Beach ranked as the second-warmest February.
[LIST BELOW: Warmest months recorded in Orlando history]
Not only was February abnormally warm, it was also much drier than average. Besides a few showers along the early February cold fronts, most reporting stations across Central Florida saw minimal accumulated rainfall. Sanford saw its driest February on record, while Daytona Beach had its third-driest and Melbourne experienced its fourth-driest February.
Orlando remained drier than normal, with a total rainfall received of 0.36 inches. Although it was below normal, it was just enough to keep the site out of the top five driest Februarys on record.
This abnormally warm weather across Florida comes as no surprise, thanks to the La Nina global pattern.
La Nina tends to bring a drier and warmer weather pattern during the winter and spring months across Florida, along with a cooler and wetter summer. La Nina also can also create a more active hurricane season.