Where did winter go? Mild open to ‘spring’; March outlook issued

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Temperatures were cooler Monday but the opening days of March and meteorological spring are the warmest in eight years.


We closed the books on meteorological winter Saturday ending on a cold spell. The months of December, January and February are the cold months and considered meteorological winter. Since December first a whopping 70% of the days were above normal with another season with sub-normal snow

Extended spells of warmer than normal weather took hold from mid-December on as bitter cold remained bottled up in northern Canada and Alaska. On quick jabs of cold occurred and there were no real extended spells of cold.

This ‘winter’ enters the book as the 16th warmest or among the warmest 11% on record averaging 4-degrees per day above normal.

Snowfall dissipated in January with only one-third of an inch measured. The lack of snowfall continued through February with only a few small spurts mid and late month. This is the 6th straight meteorological winter with below normal snowfall.


So where did winter go? We opened the month mild – warmest in 8 years and the pattern may continue to be a warm one. The cold is alive and well up north but there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the bottled up cold will come south. No Polar Vortex for you.

A cold weather indicator – the Arctic Oscillation, remains in a positive state entering the month and shows no let-up. This indicator, when negative represents the evacuation of cold air from the Arctic. It went negative in November and December then retreated north since. The polar branch of the jet stream has remained north for the balance of the winter.

The “AO” remains in a positive state over the next two weeks and leads to better confidence in above normal temperatures overall for at least the next two weeks.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center’s 30 day outlook is updated below with not only above normal temperatures but the wet pattern could roll along as well. 2020 has opened up as the wettest to-date since 2005. Could this become a problem;me for spring planting? Stay tuned.

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