Sunday, March 6, 2016

Warm, but Wet, Pattern Sticks Around Through the Middle of March

This past weekend we woke up to almost an inch of snow on the ground Saturday morning, but by Saturday afternoon the snow was pretty much gone with temperatures climbing into the low 40's.  Any little bit of snow that might have been left Sunday was definitely gone with a gusty south wind and highs in the low 50's.

The chance for snow this upcoming week is zero, and may even be zero for the rest of the season.  But the chance for accumulating rainfall stays fairly high.  While we're entering into a more warm and active pattern for the second week of March, it looks like this type of pattern may be sticking around with the likelihood of temperatures staying above average straight through St. Patrick's Day!

The warmer pattern will, however, lead to a higher probability of rainfall in the coming days and weeks.  While no one day this next week looks to be particularly rainy, heavier periods of rain Tuesday night and again Wednesday night could push totals close to an inch in some spots.  Overall, the weekly rainfall totals look to be between one and two inches of rain by this time next weekend.

And while the warmer temperatures are nice, we don't want to warm up too fast, too quickly.  We've reached the peak of El NiƱo and current trends support us transitioning back into an ENSO neutral phase by this summer.  However, remember March of 2012 when highs were in the 70's and 80's for a week?  Remember what happened later that spring and summer?  Drought conditions developed very quickly over Illinois and Wisconsin.  Now I'm not saying that this is going to happen again this year, but it's important to pay attention to what our atmosphere and climate are trying to tell us.  So while the warmth is going to be nice this next week or two, it's also nice to trend near average every once and a while.

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