Thursday, April 2, 2015

Extreme Winter Pattern Finally Breaks, But Doesn't Necessarily Help

Whiting, Maine this winter. New Englanders want
to leave this past extreme winter behind,
and it is departing, only in fits and starts, though.
Photo by Harry Snyder.  
The extreme winter weather pattern over North America has finally broken in favor of a more spring seasonal arrangement, but that doesn't necessarily mean everybody is going to be happy.

As you know, the pattern featured record heat and drought in California. (I'll have a separate post on that dire situation later).

The winter pattern contributed to extreme cold in the Northeastern United States and eastern Canada, and epic snows in eastern New England and southeastern Canada.

A number of Northeastern cities including Bangor, Maine, Syracuse, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, Worcester, Massachusetts and Montpelier and St. Johnsbury, Vermont, had their coldest first three months of the year on record.

The normal polar vortex, which held a position in Canada which helped along the horrible winter weather, is breaking down and weakening, like it normally does in the spring.

Unfortunately for warm weather lovers, this doesn't necessarily mean spring weather will exactly bloom in New England, though. Wintry weather is going to linger off and on for awhile.


Warmer weather will indeed stage a welcome invastion into New England today and especially Friday.  Widespread temperatures in the 50s and 60s are forecast, especially on Friday. Lows tonight in all areas except northern Maine will stay in the 40s.

Luckless northern Maine is under a winter weather advisory for snow and sleet tonight.

A cold front will cross the Northeast Friday night, and a strenghtening storm system will ride northeast along the front.

Temperatures will crash late Friday night into Saturday. Combined with the storm, several inches of snow could come down on northern New York and northern New England through Saturday.


Most of next week looks chilly and damp with cold rain showers, mixed with snow in the north of New England as chilly weather hangs on. But the weather pattern that's bringing that cool air is nothing like the winter setup, so it won't be as awfully far below normal as it's been.

Still, next week's chilly, somewhat wintry weather will be extremely frustrating for New Englanders, as areas from the Mid-Atlantic states on south will enjoy balmy, sunny spring warmth.

There are uncertain signs that it could warm up to nice spring levels in New England late next week. We'll see.


Spring patterns usually brings severe weather to parts of the nation, and that's no exception here.

There were a few scattered report of gigantic hail in the Plains states yesterday. Today, the severe weather will intensify, especially in southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky.

(This is part of the same storminess that will bring rain, then snow to northern New England Friday through Saturday)
Hail piled up near Dallas yesterday. From WFAA. 

There could be a couple tornadoes in this region today, but as has been the case for the past couple of days, the biggest threats are large hail and destructive thunderstorm winds. These same areas could get some flooding from heavy downpours as well.

On Friday, the severe weather threat shifts to Mississippi, Tennessee, and northwestern Alabama. Just like today's bad weather, this area on Friday could get a couple tornadoes, but mostly damaging hail and winds.

More to the west, in the High Plains from the Dakotas to West Texas, it remains very dry, and warm, and windy, with low humidity. As has been the case all week, there's a very high risk of wildfires in that region. 

The weather pattern will remain favorable for occasional areas of severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes next week, but pinning down which areas are under the gun and how widespread severe weather will be, if it occurs at all, is hard to do days in advance.

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