February broke records as snowiest, one of the coldest months. Now, here comes the sun

Freezing temperatures and unrivaled snow helped put February in the record books.

The month ended as the snowiest in the Seattle-Tacoma area with 20.2 inches, beating out the previous record of 13.1 inches from 1949.

It also was the third coldest February since records at Sea-Tac Airport started being kept in 1945.

“Indeed, it was a winter of extremes,” according to the National Weather Service.

The average temperature was 36.7 degrees, falling not far behind the coldest February in 1956 with an average temperature of 35.6 and the second coldest February in 1989 at an average 35.88 degrees.

Only the first few days of the month were considered above normal and there was an entire week “where the average high barely hit the average low,” said Cliff Mass, a University of Washington meteorologist.

Four notable snowstorms swept through Western Washington, shuttering schools for days, clogging freeways with abandoned vehicles and spun-out cars and layering cities with several inches of powder.

“Here’s the month in review: It got cold. It snowed. It stayed cold. It snowed some more. Then some more. Then some more. Stayed cold. Snowed a little more,” the Weather Service half-jokingly tweeted.

March is starting off with sunshine and slightly below-normal temperatures, but that’s progress.

Highs over the next few days will remain in the mid-40s, and there’s not even a chance of rain until Tuesday night.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.