Still waiting for Spring...(3-25-13)
Chilly early spring weather remains locked in over central New York as we start the last week in March. Monday was the 12th straight day for Syracuse where the high temperature ended up below normal..We can take small solace that central New York is actually missing out on a accumulating snow for a change. A swath of heavy snow came out of the Rockies over the weekend and then across the middle of the county over the last day and a half. Kansas City had between 7 and 9 inches of snow. The 1.3” at Reagan National Airport in Washington is the first 1” snowfall Washington has had in more than 2 years (January 26th 2011)You may have seen our 7 day forecast and you may be encouraged by the trend upward in temperature. However, the pattern is still not looking like Spring. Here is the GFS forecast for this Wednesday.By Easter Sunday we are flirting with 50 degrees as the upper low breaks down. This will allow us to bring us back to normal for the end of March. However, there are question marks beyond that as to whether . As I’ve mentioned in a couple of blogs, the biggest problem for us has been the high latitude blocking and one of the great tools to tell whether that is happening to track the arctic oscillation index (AO) Technically it looks at differences in sea level pressures over the central Arctic versus mid latitudes. When this index is in the negative phase it is usually the sign of blocking going on in the northern Hemisphere and we tend to have colder than normal weather. Here is where the index is now and how it might change in the next 2 weeks.The black line this graph is the observed AO while the red lines represent forecasted AO values from the GFS ensembles. In the overall trends, notice that the AO has been consistently negative since just shortly after the start of February and that corresponds to two straight below normal months in terms of temperature in Syracuse. The AO bottomed out about a week ago and is moving up but notice even by April first (next Monday) the index is still forecasted to be below zero with a number of the ensembles keeping the index below zero through the first week in April. Notice, however, there is more of a spread from the ensembles which says there is a bit of uncertainty beyond this weekend. Until we can get that index above zero I can’t get excited about any prolonged period of warm weather here in central New York. That’s not to say we can’t get some small doses of milder weather (such as at the end of this weekend) but the overall pattern doesn’t scream Spring through the start of April.
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