Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19th: Spring Arrives Wednesday, But We're Still Harboring Winter Weather


Spring Begins at 6:02am Wednesday... Or Does It?
Even though Spring arrives on Wednesday, temperatures will feel quite a bit more like Winter in the eastern half of the country.

Highs From Normal on Wednesday
Blue is not necessarily the color we want to see here. We can handle a little cold, but temperatures on Wednesday will be running nearly 10° to 20° degrees below normal for a good chunk of the eastern part of the country.

6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
The 6 to 10 day temperature outlook continues to look cold in the eastern part of the country. This will take us to the end of the month. I don't see Spring on weather maps either.

Cold and Snowy...
The landscape looks very wintry in the Twin Cities area doesn't it? The image below was out of St. Paul, MN from Tuesday afternoon. The Twin Cities has seen nearly 14" of snow so far this month and nearly 50" this season!

2012 vs. 2013
The Twin Cities is dealing with some much different weather this year vs. last. Thanks to KARE 11 photojournalist Deb Lyngdal for the picture below. Keep in mind that on March 18th, 2012 - the Twin Cities warmed to 79° and is the current record high for that date... If you look at the picture below, I'm wondering if that car has moved since last year??


Twin Cities March So Far...
March 2012 was the warmest March on record. Average temperatures were running 15.5° above average. This year (thru the 18th) temperatures were running nearly 4° below average.

Nearing Avg. Seasonal Snowfall
So far thru March 18th, the Twin Cities had 49.3" of snow, which is nearing the average annual snowfall of 51.8". Interestingly, 28.9" of  that has fallen since February 1st!

Snowy February and March...
Thanks to a snowy February and March, we've made up for lost time in many locations. Look at the departure from normal snowfall across the region. Many locations have either dramatically cut their deficits down or are now at a surplus!

Snow Depth
As of Tuesday, there were locations across the far north that had nearly 2ft. to 3ft. of snow still on the ground!

SWE? Snow Water Equivalent
The SWE or snow to water equivalent is still quite impressive across the far north where deep snowpack exists. There are still a few spots that have nearly 5" of water locked in the snow!

Snow Potential
Extended models are suggesting a storm by the late week/weekend that could produce heavy snow across the Plains and central part of the country. The ECMWF (European model) keep the heaviest along the Front Range of the Rockies to the Ohio Valley.

GFS Farther North
The GFS (American model) suggests that the precipitation will drift a little farther north. I'd like to see a few more model runs before putting all my chips in. Stay tuned for more!

Monday's Severe Weather
Take a look at the incredible image below. That's a semi truck that was nearly blown off of an overpass from thunderstorm winds. The man in the picture is the driver of that rig! Wonderful to see that he is unharmed!

Active March 17th
Two tornadoes were confirmed in Tennessee as well. Here's a picture from the National Weather Service out of Nashville, TN where an EF1 was confirmed.

Massive Hail
Monday's thunderstorm activity also spawned massive hail across the Southeast. Yea, that's a softball!

Monday's Storm Reports
Here are the 'filtered' storm reports from Monday, which tries to eliminate multiple reports from the original storm reports. This is done to get a more accurate count on total storm reports. It appears that Monday was the most active severe weather day we've seen since late January 2012.

2013 Tornado Count
Interestingly, we've see more tornadoes in January (87) and February (46) than what we've had in March (3). This is also below the average number of tornado reports by this time of the year.

National Tornado Average By Month
According to NOAA's SPC, this is what the national tornado average is by month. Note how the average spikes in May at 276. We typically see 80 tornadoes in March... Our low count can be attributed to the colder than average readings so far this month.

Thanks for checking in, have a great rest of your week!
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