All Weather News

A Mid-March Comparison and a Cool Outlook for the Rest of the Month

14 Mar 2013, 6:33 pm

Deja Vu??
Here we go again with ANOTHER clipper diving into the Lower 48. Friday is expected to be a little snowy for some across the Upper Mississippi Valley as the 2nd punch of wintry weather glides through the area. This event should be a little more substantial than that of the Thursday system. There appears to be a more widespread area of slightly heavier totals from North Dakota to the Ohio Valley. Winds are also expected to pick up behind the system, so there could be a little blowing snow to contend with as colder air wraps in behind it.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM FRIDAY TO 1 AM CDT
SATURDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN…WHICH
IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM FRIDAY TO 1 AM CDT SATURDAY.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM FRIDAY…TO 1 AM
SATURDAY MORNING.

* TIMING: A MIXTURE OF SLEET AND SNOW…POSSIBLY MIXED WITH
FREEZING RAIN WILL DEVELOP ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AFTER
MIDNIGHT AND SPREAD SOUTHEAST OVERNIGHT. THE MIXTURE OF
PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE OVER TO ALL SNOW BY FRIDAY MORNING.

* MAIN IMPACT: TOTAL SNOWFALL BY LATE FRIDAY NIGHT WILL RANGE FROM
4 TO 6 INCHES NORTH OF AN ALEXANDRIA TO SAINT CLOUD
MINNESOTA…TO EAU CLAIRE WISCONSIN LINE…TO ONE TO FOUR INCHES
SOUTH OF THIS LINE. ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE TENTH OF AN INCH
ALONG THE MINNESOTA RIVER VALLEY…TO THE IOWA BORDER.

* OTHER IMPACTS: ICE AND SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE
PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS.

Don’t Put Away the Shovels Just Yet!
Unreal… Another storm is forecast to drift through the Midwest Sunday thru AM Tuesday with even more snow! This one looks potentially even more substantial that that of the Friday system. Although the exact details of the system are yet to be determined, expect another nasty commute on Monday… Stay tuned for more!

Snowy Thursday in the Northeast
Not only were folks in the Midwest dealing with snow on Thursday, but folks in the Noreast had snow too! I think there are several people that are getting irrationally optimistic about Spring to finally rear its head!

U.S. Snow Cover 2012 vs. 2013
As of March 14th, the national snow cover was sitting at nearly 25%, which was quite a bit different from where we were last year at this time… only 11.1% of the nation was covered in snow.

March 2012 vs. 2013 by the Cities
Here are a few cities and their temperatures during a stretch of days from 2012 to 2013. Note the difference in temperatures especially in Minneapolis, MN and Cleveland, OH!
 
Warmer in the Southwest this year than last year
Note that Phoenix, AZ is dealing with some slightly warmer conditions now than what we had last year at this time!
National High Temperatures Departure From Normal
The maps below show how much warmer or colder the high temperature was/is expected to be for some selected cities across the nation for Thursday and Friday.
Temperature Outlook
Even after a fairly sizeable warmup for folks across the western half of the country, the extended temperature outlook is looking to be below normal for a large chunk of the the northern half of the country.
U.S. Drought Monitor Update
I thought this was interesting… Take a look at the U.S. Drought Monitor from March 2012 vs. March 2013. Note how the drought has expanded across the central part of the country since last year. Several factor played a role in this expansion, but the lackluster winter of 2011-2012 and the extremely hot and dry summer of 2012 were the key factors in this worsening drought situation.
The Midwest: Light precipitation (0.5 – 1.5) inches fell across Michigan and Indiana, so the area of abnormal dryness (D0) was trimmed slightly.  Areas with above-normal rainfall over the past 30-days were targeted for improvement, but some D0 was retained due to longer term soil moisture deficits that reflect long-term drought reaching back to last summer.  
Despite significant rains (0.5 – 3.0 inches), only minor improvements were also pursued over Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  According to some local National Weather Service employees and state climatologists, the frozen ground (10-20 inches of frozen soils) is preventing deep soil moisture recharge.  Streams and rivers rose and fell rapidly, indicting excessive runoff and lack of penetration, along with some reports of basement flooding as the water cannot go into the soil.
A nearly 1-category improvement across Missouri and Iowa was prompted by widespread rains (0.5 – 2.5 inches).  The improvements were not a full 1-category as some areas of northwest and north-central Missouri did not experience as significant of a soil moisture recovery as points farther east and south, where soils had thawed earlier in the year.”
“Looking Ahead:  During the next 5 days (March 14-18, 2013), moderate to heavy precipitation is forecast for the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley.  Outside of those regions, little to no precipitation is expected.  Much colder than normal temperatures are likely to support a continuation of the frozen soil problem across the northern Great Plains through the next week, while the Rockies and southern Great Plains are expected to experience warmer than average conditions.  Colder than normal conditions are likely to persist through the next 10 days from California to the northern Great Plains to the Northeast, with the most likely locations for above-normal temperatures are across the southeast.  Wet conditions are likely to continue for the Great Lakes, northern Great Plains and southeast, with drier than average conditions likely across the southwest.
Thanks for checking in, have a great weekend ahead!
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