MID-SOUTH — There’s no doubt the Mid-South will be talking about February 2021 for years to come. It was the most snow areas in the Mid-South have seen in decades. Not only will our memories be evidence of this historical event, but numerous records will now have 2021 next to them. In total, 7 records were shattered and 1 was tied during the week and a half winter blast.
The arctic air invaded the Mid-South beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 10. That night the weather station at the Memphis International Airport dropped below freezing and didn’t reemerge from the deep freeze until lunchtime on Saturday, Feb. 20. This left us with a total of 9 full days below freezing which tied the longest stretches ever set in 1940 and in 1899.
During those nine days, Memphis set seven new records which included coldest afternoon highs, coldest morning lows, and daily snowfall amounts. The first one fell on Valentine’s Day. The temperature that day didn’t warm above 19°. This afternoon high broke the old record for the coldest high of 25° set in 1879. A record that was over 140 years old – shattered! Memphis also picked up 1.3″ of snow on this day. This wasn’t a new record, but it did add to our weekly total of 10″.
Monday, Feb. 15 was another day for the record books. We started off with the coldest temperature to ever be recorded for that date of 9°. This broke the old record of 11° set in 1905. Then the snow began, and the Memphis International Airport picked up a record total of 4″. On this day, we also set a record for the coldest high temperature as Memphis didn’t get above 15° that afternoon. The old record was set in 1936 with a high of 27°. Not even close!
On Tuesday, the bitter cold really settled in and the Mid-South had its coldest morning since 1989. Memphis dropped down to 1° which shattered the old record of 8° set in 1958.
The last snow event began on Wednesday afternoon and dropped multiple inches of snow across the region. At the Memphis airport, 5.7″ of snow fell on top of what was left from earlier in the week. Many places around the Mid-South had 8-10″ of snow on the ground by the end of Wednesday night.
Winter wasn’t done yet. Clear skies and another surge of cold air dropped temperatures into the single digits on Saturday, Feb. 20. Memphis recorded a morning low of 9° which broke the old record of 13° also set in 1958.
Again, seven long-standing records were broken with 1 record-tying for 1st. February 2021 will be hard to forget in the years to come.