Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ol' Man Winter Just Won't Let Go

Here we are, almost three weeks into meteorological spring and much of the country is dealing with below normal temperatures and winter precipitation. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect from eastern New York through much of New England, and warnings and advisories are also in effect in the lee of the Great Lakes.
Warnings, watches, and advisories as of 1:00 p.m. EDT March 19.

The reason for this is a double-barreled low pressure system. The main center was located near the eastern end of Lake Superior while a secondary low was located just south of Long Island, NY.

Surface weather map as of 11:00 a.m. EDT March 19

CoCoRaHS new snowfall map for March 19
Snowfall amounts from 6 inches to more than a foot are possible in the warned areas of New England. As of this morning 6 to 10 inches of new snow had accumulated from southern Vermont and New Hampshire into eastern Massachusetts. The snow will continue to progress northward today and some of the highest storm totals are likely over Maine. With temperatures hovering near freezing this is one of those pain-in-the-back storms with heavy, wet snow. 

Snow also blanketed northern Minnesota, much of Wisconsin, and the Michigan Upper Peninsula yesterday and last night. Snow continues today on the downwind side of the lakes.

24 hour snowfall ending the morning of March 19 in the upper Midwest

It's likely that winter will hang on for most of March. The latest 6 to 10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center which takes us through March 28 depicts a very high probability of colder than normal weather for the eastern one-half to two-thirds U.S.  This is quite a contrast with the record warm March of 2012, and it is the type of thing that makes meteorology such a fascinating field.

CoCoRaHS observers will need to keep those snowboards out just a little longer.

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