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Red Hot February

By Climate Central

See how February temps have warmed in your state since 1970:

Love is in the air and you might be making plans for Valentine’s Day. As greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere, it’s possible you’ve got one hot date ahead of you. So we took a look at February's long-term warming trend since 1970 and found that’s not far from the truth.

Our state-specific analysis of average February temperatures since 1970 shows Februaries are getting warmer for the majority of states. Vermont is the fastest-warming state, with the average February temperature rising 4°F since 1970. Seven of the 10 fastest-warming states are in the Northeast, which also happens to be one of the fastest-warming regions of the country in winter.

There are eight states with a slight downward trend. All eight are located in the western half of the U.S., with Wyoming showing the greatest dip. However, the decline is only 0.8°F — much smaller than the fastest-warming states — and despite a February cooling trend, winters are still warming in Wyoming.

Additionally, every season has been warming since 1970 nationally and that rate of warming has accelerated compared to the past. That’s consistent with what we expect as more greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere.

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