January is pretty much supposed to be cold – from beginning to end. The average high on January 1 is 50 degrees. The average high on January 31 is 52 degrees. (Granted, we had a really mild January but we're talking about averages here.)
February is when we start getting somewhere. The average high on February 1 is 52 degrees. The average high on February 28 is 58 degrees! That's not far from 60°! As the sun angle gets higher, the sun's rays are more direct. With more direct sun rays, the ground warms more efficiently. That warms the air above it and before you know it, our average goes from the low 50s to the high 50s in a matter of days.
What else? Day length increases considerably. On February 1, the sunrise is 7:22 a.m. Sunset is 5:52 p.m. On February 28, sunrise is 6:54 a.m and sunset is 6:18 p.m.
Over the course of the month, the sun comes up 28 minutes earlier. It sets 26 minutes later. There are 54 more minutes of daylight by the end of February. Want to know how much progress we've already made? The shortest day of the year was December 21. The sun rose at 7:28 a.m and set 5:15 p.m. Today, we have 50 more minutes of daylight than we did on the winter solstice.
Obviously, for the past few weeks, who can remember what average is? We've been all over the place with temperatures. Looks like we will continue to do that. If the mild weather stretches have given you spring fever, never fear. We'll be there for good before you know it.