Thursday, February 5, 2015

No snow? Then how about spring??

That's pretty much how we feel after yet another potential snow-maker cruised on through the Mid-South, leaving pretty much nothing in it's wake.  In fact, I'm pretty sure we have a new cloud type: stratus disappointus, winter clouds that threaten to drop snow but depart with nary a trace.

What's left behind is an Arctic high pressure system that is shoveling cold air into the region, rather than snow. Check out the mid-day temperatures across the eastern U.S. At 1pm, it is 18 degrees colder in Memphis than it was at this time yesterday.

I've been told that if it can't snow, let's just get on with spring. Well, the MWN Forecast has some good news if you feel this way. As the Arctic high shifts east, warmer air from the west builds in. After a cold morning tomorrow with deep-freeze lows in the lower half of the 20s, we'll see high temperatures rise quickly during the day, topping out in the lower 50s. Another 10 degrees of warming is expected Saturday, putting us squarely in the 60s for the weekend. With sunshine, Saturday will be downright spring-like! Clouds and drizzle or light rain move in Sunday, but temperatures stay well above normal. Slightly cooler, but still above normal, temps continue into the first half of next week.

For those of you who still want snow and haven't given up, the good news is that it's still early February. While snow chances climatologically decrease through the month, we typically start to see more moisture feed into the region from the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific as we head towards March. Thus, some of our biggest snowfalls historically have been in the last week of February and first week of March. Throw in the fact that another cool spell looks likely starting late next week and you never know!
The pattern forecast by the Global Ensemble Forecast System has historically produced cold temperatures. In fact, given the pattern, analogs (comparison to past years with the same pattern) suggest below normal temps are virtually guaranteed in about 10 days (90% chance).
The same GEFS model data is forecast to produce average temperatures that are 4-5° C (or 7-8° F) below normal for the Feb 12-17 period. Graphic courtesy WxBell Analytics.
In sum, enjoy the spring weather this weekend and cross your fingers that we can get some good moisture in place as another cold blast arrives so we can reset the MWN Snow Counter, which currently reads 1,156 days since the last 1" snowfall!

p.s. I want to "raise the roof" and give a little shout-out to my fellow meteorologists and weather prognosticators out there today. Happy National Weatherperson's Day! You all do an amazing, and often un-sung, job day in and day out and provide inspiration for others in the field. I look forward to continuing to work along side you and learn from you each and every day.

p.p.s. Happy Birthday to my private weather firm and MWN's parent company, Cirrus Weather Solutions, LLC, which was formed on National Weatherperson's Day five year ago! Cirrus operates, (TN), and StormWatch+.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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