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February 20, 11 PM Update: So How Is March Still Looking?

Here is a look at March 1-31

Posted: Feb. 20, 2019 9:44 PM
Updated: Feb. 20, 2019 10:53 PM

March, the start of meteorological spring, begins a week from this Friday.

I have been showing you trends & outlooks for the month of March for a while now.  Here is the latest update based on the latest data I have available.

The first half of March still looks to average well below normal temperature-wise & above normal snowfall & ice wise.

I have mentioned coldest first half since 1960. 

We will not be near as cold as the first half of March 1960, but we have had the potential to be the coldest first half of March SINCE 1960, beating out 1970. 

1960 as a whole for March beat the second coldest March (1906) by nearly 7 degrees, which is VERY impressive for a mean temp.  All the more, this occurred even with consistently nice warm weather late month with 70s!

Early March 1960 willl always be very hard to equal or to beat because there was nothing like it, other than perhaps 1833 & 1872.

I have also mentioned we would at least be as cold as the 1996 or 2014 first halves of March.

March 1-16 mean temperature..............coldest 1960-present:

1960 - 13.3

1970 - 23.5

1984 - 23.4

1978 - 24.1

1962 - 25.5

1980 - 26.4

1969 - 27.4

2014 - 28.6

1996 - 29.2

Forecast March 1-16, 2019 mean temperature for West Lafayette (I calculated on best data available & averaged):

I have come up with 27.3 for the Purdue Ag Farm site.

This would make it the coldest first half of March since 1984, beating out 2014 & 1996, but it does not look to beat the 23.5 from 1970 to make if the coldest since 1960.

Data points to this with MJO, NAO & AO all lining up in cold phases.  It has been incredibly warm (actually hot) in southeast Georgia & over Florida with some all-time record high & low temperatures seen for the month of February.  Dew points have also been at daily record high levels.

I think some of the cold will be unleashed to Florida with frost & freezing causing damage to vegetation highly advanced for the year.  I still would not rule out a freak ice or snow event for the Deep South.  I though it might happen in February, but this more La Nina-look pattern (mainly due to MJO) has kept a very strong summer-type Bermuda high anchored in that region with unusual heat.

So, the cold of March will tend to be released deeper into the South, compared to February.

Check out the March 2 anomalies!  COLD!  From here to the Dakotas temperatures projected to be 20-50 degrees BELOW NORMAL!  This would equate to highs near near 24 with lows near 0.

Cold March 7!  Temperature anomalies at noon show us 20-30 degrees below normal, equating to noon temperatures of near 17.

Undoubtedly there will be bursts of moderating temperatures, as it will be March, but basking in 60s & 70s do not look to happen up to March 20.

This is March 17 at 7 a.m.  Note temperatures projected here to be around 20 degrees below normal.  This equates to a noon-time temperature of around 26.

For us, March 1-19, some lows in the single digits to even below 0 are on the table.

Note how they will be up to 20 degrees below normal in Florida.

For example, this would equate to a Gainesville noon-time temperature at a "cold" 56.  Overnight lows in the 30s are possible there with 40-42 to Orlando.

There will be opportunities for March snow & ice at times.  Note how the polar & subtropical jets merge & the train of storms digging into our area with good snow & ice tracks.

Nice warm surge should occur after March 20 with temperatures to the 70s.  Nicer trend will evolve after 20th with colder weather shifting to the west.  However, severe weather from Minnesota to Texas may occur in multiple rounds.  We may get some leftovers.

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Storms late tonight.
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