The late-winter mild stretch of February, 1976

Dear Tom,

Many years ago I needed to spray paint the fender of my VW Beetle and that required the temperature to be at least 60 degrees. It was February and I thought I would have to wait for spring but we experienced several days of mild weather and I got the painting done. What year was that?

Thanks,
John Waksmundzki
Chicago

Dear John,

That late-winter mild stretch that you recall occurred in February 1976. The month opened frigid with three subzero lows including a minus 11 on Ground Hog Day that featured a high of just 9 above. The cold then eased as mild Pacific air flooded the country bringing an abrupt end to winter. On February 24 the mercury soared to an unseasonable high of 63 and was followed by highs of 64, 61 and finally by the all-time February high of 75-degrees on the 27th.