Meteorological spring kicks off Friday, March 1. Forget the calendar - as far as the atmosphere is concerned - spring is 48 hours away. Historical weather data shows the coldest 90 days of the year, on average, are from December 1 to March 1.
Feeling better yet? We've picked up over 2 hours and 20 minutes of daylight since December 21. A higher sun angle means the odds of subzero weather drop off rapidly in March. That said, snow is on the ground over 54 percent of the USA, which will act as a brake on any warming in the weeks ahead. I still maintain that spring will come reluctantly this year, which may be good news.
Why? It should mean larger north-south temperature contrasts across America, helping to spin up bigger, wetter storms, taking the edge off our drought.
Yesterday's inversion (warming temperatures with altitude) coupled with light winds lead to a rare February air pollution alert. How long can you hold your breath?
No big storms; Monday's clipper may brush us with wet snow Monday; a few inches south of MSP. On the blog: keep expectations for March warmth low. A negative phase of the NAO should mean a cooler, stormier month.
More slush anyone?
* photos of hoar frost above from WeatherNation TV producer D.J. Kayser, taken at Watab Creek Park near Sartell.
Anomalous surface temperatures are disturbing the air flows
Climate change caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning does not mean uniform global warming – in the Arctic, the relative increase of temperatures, amplified by the loss of snow and ice, is higher than on average. This in turn reduces the temperature difference between the Arctic and, for example, Europe, yet temperature differences are a main driver of air flow...."
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