Garrett’s Blog: March Snow?

850

The relentless winter is set to continue right on into March with temperatures running some 10-20º below normal. Normal in late February and early March is around the mid 50s.

There are essentially 3 systems that will affect the area in the next seven days.

The first one arrives tonight and will bring bitter cold to the area. Highs on Wednesday will be stuck in the 30s across much of the region.

The next system doesn’t have as much moisture or cold to work with. We’re thinking predominately rain with some snow mixing in during the day on Friday. With temperatures at the surface above freezing, impacts should be minimal.

The last one looks like it could bring wintry weather with better moisture and possibly more impacts from winter weather. It arrives on Sunday evening and could be rain, sleet, or snow. It’s too early to know right now.

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This image above represents one model’s interpretation of the atmosphere on Sunday evening around 6pm. Depending on the depth of the cold layer at the surface, it’ll either be all rain, some rain, sleet, & freezing rain, or all freezing rain. It’s just too early to know for sure but it’s definitely something you’ll want to watch unfold.

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As the system exits, there should be an area of light snow which develops late Sunday into Monday morning. This is Monday morning at 6am. With temperatures being so cold, it’s possible that travel could be affected.

Hard to believe snow is a possibility in March, but it’s happened before. Last year we had snow as late as May.

One thing to note, the long-range models have been showing a cold bias in recent weeks which could be attributed to incorrect analysis of the existing snow pack across northern Plains and Midwest. In other words, the model is spitting out highs of around 60º which the actual high on that day is around 65 or 68º. Doesn’t sound like much but it is when you’re talking about freezing rain/sleet/snow.

I personally tend to think this will eventually trend ‘mostly rain’ with a changeover to snow based on the cold bias and climatology that doesn’t generally favor ice storms in March. Time will tell. Thanks for reading.

Garrett