Monday, March 2, 2015

March Weather Is Very Changeable Nationwide. Today Is Your Proof

A giant snow pile in Boston in February after
a series of storms. This week, Boston might break
its record for the snowiest winter in history.  
As the calendar turns to March, weather often gets (or in the case of this year, stays) quite active.

The Arctic continues to generate subzero cold and flings that frigid air from time to time southward into the United States during March, though those icy blasts of weather start to weaken, especially during the second half of the month.

Meanwhile,  the forces of spring increasingly try to seize territory from the cold hands of winter.

The jet stream stays far enough south in its winter position to generate strong storm systems across the United States, as the warm and cold ar battle it out.

The warming gradually changes the character of the storminess during the month. Snowstorms are likely all month, but at the same time the warming air gradually makes it more and more likely that severe thunderstorms and tornadoes could break out, especially in the southeastern United States and the southern Plains.

Flooding also becomes a concern amid the strong storms, and sometimes, due to ice jams and melting snow during early spring thaws.

This March is certainly opening with some of this exciting weather, as storms are, or about to hit much of the nation.  This storminess looks to live up to March's reputation for variety.


While we were all agog over the record snows in New England in February, t turns out Denver also managed to quletly have its snowiest February on record, with 22.4 inches. Normal for the month is 5.7 inches.  This in a month when the temperature got above 70 degrees four times, though the end of February in Denver was a lot colder than normal.

The late breaking winter continues to unfold in the Rockies as we begin the month of March. A variety of winter storm warnngs, watches and advisories extend....

An avalanche watch is also in effect for some of the mountains of Colorado, including areas around Aspen. People who want to go back country skiing amid the new snow were told not to because of the risk.

More to the south and in low elevations, it rained. That's good news for southern California. The rain storm wasn't huge, and won't come close to solving California's drought problem. Any rain that falls is welcome though.

More to the east, some pretty good rains are due in Arizona today.

A flood watch is up today for parts of southwestern and central Arizona, including the Phoenix area because of the risk of heavy rain.

On the bright side, this rain might create some beauty in the deserts, as late winter rains causes the brief blooming of desert plants in the normally pretty arid part of the country.


The storminess in the Rockies is about to emerge out into the middle of the country today.

Often, this type of storm can produce some severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the Gulf Coast states. However, conditions don't look ripe for any large outbreaks of severe storms with this one. There might be a few rambuctious storms, but nothing huge.

The storminess in Kentucky and Tennessee and that region of the country this week will probably drop about two inches of rain. That's not super extreme, but with the heavy rains of last week and a fair amont of snow on the ground in some areas, that will melt, there is a risk of flooding in parts of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys this week.

The National Weather Service in Louisville, Kentucky said it is monitoring the potential flood situation.

Along the northern reaches of the storm, it will snow. A good chunk of South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota are under a blizzard watch for Tuesday.

There won't be all that much new snow with this, maybe two to five inches, but strong north winds gusting to 50 mph will blow around that new snow, and fluff that's already on the ground, to cause pretty bad visibiity problems Tuesday, so that's why the blizzard watch is up.


Sunday was pretty nasty along much of the East Coast, with freezing rain and ice in the Middle Atlantic and snow in the Northeast.

That'll clear out today for a brief break, but there's more trouble on the horizon.

The storm coming out of the Midwest is expected to head up through New York and into Quebec, which would eventually change precipitation to rain in Boston. But before it does that, a surge of moisture will come into the region, dropping some snow.

This isn't going to be any sort of epic storm like parts of New England and southeastern Canada endured in February. Maybe one to four inches across most of New England, with a few spots getting just a bit more. Sleet and freezing rain might mix in, too, late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, especially the more south you go.

People in snowbound Boston are starting to root for this winter becoming the snowiest on record there. They're wicked close to the record, so why not?

Some more snow fell on Boston Sunday, bringing the total for the season to 103.9 inches. They only need 3.8 inches more snow to break the record, set in 1995-96 and Boston.

After some readings that briefly get above freezing during the day Wednesday, temperatures will crash again Wednesday night, and it's back in the ice box for a few days, with overnight lows in northern New England going back below zero late in the week.

But it's March, and this cold wave won't be as bad as the lot of the ones we got in February, so you can take solace in that.  The early March sun eats a way a little bit at snow banks even on cold days, we'll have that little bit of progress.

You take what you can get.

Later this week and into next weekend, the storminess in the United States will have settled down and most places will have pretty quiet weather or a few days.

But it's March, so I'm sure there will be plenty more weather chaos as the the month rolls on.

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