Spring lovers rejoice! Winter is finally on its way out and the yearly battle with spring has begun, as we have seen with the recent wild weather. March is the most volatile weather month for many locations. If you look up weather records for where you live in March you will find some years have a March that is extremely cold with large amounts of snow, and others have been extremely mild with violent severe weather outbreaks. Few other months can boast such a constant swing between both sides other than March.
Where am I going with this? Well, good news actually. We all know its been a pretty mild and easy winter across much of the continental US [as far as winters go] and some of the more weather savvy have been fearing that the other shoe would drop in the spring. Weather always seems to balance itself out, and prolonged periods of above normal temperatures are often offset by a period of below normal temps. I guess the good news is, at least for the time being the warmer than average pattern appears to remain in control.
Check out the temperate outlook from the CPC (Climate Prediction Center)
I can’t recall ever seeing values that dark on the color scale before. In a nutshell, the darker the color the greater the forecasters confidence in the above normal temperature pattern for the period shown on the map. A couple quick peeks at the mid range GFS would seem to concur with this idea.
Now doesn’t that just get you all excited for spring? I know it does me. The EURO model is also showing a similar pattern, and not only does it show a similar patter, but its also more robust and warmer than the GFS. The bottom line, if you live east of the Rocky Mountains get ready for a nice week!
Of course the question on everyones mind is what, if any affect will this have on severe weather. Well, too hard to tell, but the GFS does keep the storm track active and show several systems moving along during this abnormally warm pattern.
It is foolish to try and say it will be one way or another, but when you have warm and mild air in place this early things tend to get out of control when other parameters fall into place. Unfortunately we just saw a result of that on March 2nd. This pattern is one we will be watching with an eager eye. To see such broad warm sectors with mild air this early in the season may be a bit concerning, but on the other hand mid and upper level flow will seem to be a bit…off. Right now I see no setups that scream significant outbreak just yet, but there are certainly systems of interest coming down the flow.
Could this all be a concern for the upcoming season? Can there be a consequence for the warm winter and we will we see the jet stream leap into Canada earlier than expected? Will the other shoe drop in April and suddenly we get stuck in a cooler NW flow pattern? Will the persistent west coast trough ignite powerful storm systems that create widespread disaster with such warmer and milder air to work with? These are things I wonder, but do not have the answer to. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Enjoy the warm weather though, and stay tuned for updates regarding severe weather when they are warranted!
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