Friday, March 4, 2016

Low Chance of 1" Snowfall Here on Out?

We have a Clipper system bringing some light to occasionally moderate bursts of snow to the Stateline this evening. This system could drop upwards of 1" of snowfall, especially north of the Wisconsin-Illinois border. Most of the snow accumulation would be on grassy or elevated surfaces. The low associated with this snow will quickly move on to the east tonight. After doing so, high pressure will build in from the west for the weekend. This will yield a warm up that lasts well into next week. It is looking increasingly likely that 50's and 60's will make a return next week, in addition to the chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms.

Now, with the calendar flipping to March, and with temperatures in the 50's and 60's making a return, you may find yourself asking, "Is this it for accumulating snow for this winter?" That is a nearly impossible question to answer, but it is evident that a lack of snow will be present for the next few weeks. The reason for that is a large ridge that will build in across the eastern half of the country. That ridge will keep the Midwest above average in the temperature department.
In fact, here is the Climate Prediction Center's forecast for the probability of seeing temperatures above average through the first two-thirds of March. Areas in the darker red shades have a high chance of seeing temperatures above average. That includes the Stateline, where we run a 60% chance of seeing above average temperatures through March 18th. With this kind of forecast, snow is highly unlikely. However, it would be feasible to say we are finished with snow quite yet.

From March into April, the percentage of days that see at 1" of snow drastically drops. However, through the middle of April, there is still a climatological chance of seeing at least an inch of snowfall on any given day. For example, by looking at the graph, you can see that roughly 4% of March 31st's feature at least 1" of snow. So, while chances of accumulating snow go down significantly in March, and even more so April, there is still a chance of seeing snow. Regarding this particular year, it appears unlikely that snow will affect the region through mid-March, but the pattern may deliver the chance of at least some snow late this month into next month. Always remember, Mother Nature has the last say.

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