COLDEST OPEN TO ST. PADDY’S DAY IN OVER 3 DECADES
The chilly early morning temperature of 18° Monday marked the coldest start to a St. Patrick’s day here in 38 years! It was 1976 that last produced a low colder at 17°. This ranks among the coldest 9% on record and only the 16th time on record to start a St. Paddy’s day below 20 degrees. 1994 produced a low of 19° on this date, the record low came in 1900 at 2°.
Afternoon high temperatures remained below 40° Monday for only the 35th time for the date. Our luck weather-wise has run out the past two St. Patrick’s days, failing to crack 40° for the second straight year. Only two years ago a record for the date was set with a high of 77°.
WINDY WARM UP – AGAIN
Winter is on the clock – astronomically speaking, with spring beginning her officially at 12:57 p.m. Thursday. A new taste of spring-like air will surge into the state again Tuesday – warming here by 15° from Monday afternoon. Tuesday, 50-degree weather is back before the next storm system arrives Wednesday morning.
The next in a series of fronts will arrive Wednesday morning and bring the best rain chance of the week. Showers are likely here before sunrise along with a chance of an isolated thunderstorm. Temperatures will slide with the passage of the front Wednesday.
RESURGENT COLD COMING
There are many signals that the default winter pattern is long from giving up as spring officially gets under way later this week. The dominant buckle in the jet stream that brings warmth to Alaska will return and strengthen later this weekend and early next week. A late season version of the “polar vortex” is in the works dislodging and sliding into the eastern U.S. much in the way it has since throughout the winter.
ELUDING THE SNOW RECORD
Several storm systems showed promise for snow here over the past three weeks but we are still holding at 3rd all-time for a snow season at 55.1”. Small snow chances are in the forecast – possibly late Wednesday, late night Thursday into Friday along a warm front, Sunday morning and the best chance of a accumulating snow here could come next Monday. We need 3.1” to tie all-time snowiest of 1981-1982 at 58.2” We trail 2nd place 1977-78 (57.9”) by 2.8”.