Why the Weather Spaz? An extreme High Amplitude Steering Current. On the west coast, 80″ of snow March 15-18, with more on the way. In Chicago 80+ degrees 5 consecutive days and counting. The crazy weather is a result of standing waves in the atmosphere, warm wave from Central America to Quebec, cold wave from Alaska to Mexico. We can blame the extreme cold from Alaska, just as much as we can blame the warmth from Texas to Quebec. Weather periods (cycles) come in all durations, some periods take longer to complete than a single human life span. That’s why many weather extremes can happen only once in a lifetime. Like now.
Here in New England, the earliest 80 degree day on record at Concord New Hampshire has just occurred. Just about every town in our six state region set record high temperatures today, Sunday March 18, 2012. The exception is along the south coast where the southwest wind (wind that comes from the southwest) kept towns from Connecticut to Cape Cod a bit cooler due to Ocean Influence.
Here is the sunset image of Mount Washington New Hampshire, where the high of 47 broke the 1945 record of 37. According to Mt.Washington Weather observer Roger Pushor, the record was reached and broken at 6 in the am. Being a skier, watching the snow pack disappear this early is emotionally difficult to witness.
Shout out to The Scituate Massachusetts High School Girls Basketball Team, division champs. They rode in the Parade wearing Sky Blue Tee shirts on this 70 degree Sunday.
The warmest weather in New England Was in Northern New England where many spots in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine warmed to 80 degrees. It is warmer north because VT, NH & ME is further from the Ocean Influence with a southwest wind. Also the steering current has brought warmth up the middle of the USA to Canada, then eastward to Northern New England. The record on Mt.Washington was reached with wind from the Northwest!
Our Monday is not quite as warm, as another backdoor front brings low level chill and clouds to Maine and Eastern MA Monday.
A note about last weeks backdoor front.. That front stalled from Virginia to Ohio, and gradually washed out. But there is a ghost of that old front.. it’s left over moisture is caught under a huge Upper Level High Pressure system responsible for the Warm here in the east. Each day that moisture fuels thunderstorm in what appears to be a Meso-Low Pressure system. As that ‘ghost’ meanders in our direction, we may experience some random thunder storm activity west of the Connecticut River anytime from Tuesday to Thursday. There is a slight chance this system last long enough to merge with the next advance of chill on Friday, with some unforeseen result (thunder?rain?hail?snow?)
But for the most part we are in record warmth through Thursday. We may be 85-90 Thursday afternoon.
Then it gets interesting (from a flaky standpoint).
The California storm is moving to Texas and stalling for a while Monday-Thursday, resulting in severe flooding in The Ark-La-Tex region, where 10″ of rain will fall. That storm cuts off from the westerlies and meanders as an upper level low over a low level weakening low until the weekend. At some point that decaying storm arrives at the east coast. In the meantime, much colder air arrives in New England Friday March 23.
To make things even more complex, another severe Pacific Storm slams BC and the northwest USA, that storm weakens and crosses southern Canada, passing New England between March 25-28. IF we get the Texas storm, and the BC storm, and the Cold air.. well then we get a Major Wintry storm around March 27. More likely though is a more typical late winter pattern with seasonable chill and mountain snow returning to New England by April 1. But there is a ton of cold left form Alaska to Greenland, and with such an extreme pattern, I would be surprised if no more snow storms hit New England this season. If not for such an extreme pattern, I would be more bullish on snow free passage into May. So yes, I believe the record warm now, is a signal for more snow before May 15.
Another interesting tidbit has to do with records broken on March 12, the old records were from 1977, we got a foot of snow in Worcester May 10th 1977. That would be nice symmetry, October and May snow.