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March 2021 Observations and Discussion


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Who's ready for some early Spring warmth???  As we near the end of met Winter, we set our sights towards met Spring. What will this month bring???  Early indication is that after a brief shot of colder wx for the northern tier, the script will flip compared to previous years towards a warmer regime...but, there are risks, esp near the GL's region due to blocking up across eastern Canada/Greenland.  Let's dive in....

The LR signal is for an active PAC storm train to hit the west coast and allow for systems to develop in the Plains states.  The first storm due around the 4th will then interact with a blocking pattern.  First spring bowling ball system??  I believe there will be several this month as the pattern looks ripe for storms to spin up across the heartland.  Severe Wx appears to have an early start this year.  I'm sure there will be spring snows that fall as well.  Something tells me our northern members will make up in the snow dept.

 

The CFSv2 is trending with eastern warmth and very wet, esp across the MW/OHV...

summaryCFSv2.NaT2m.202103.gif

 

 

summaryCFSv2.NaPrec.202103.gif

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My family and I took a trip up to Las Vegas, NV for the weekend to explore nature and also the lights and fun activities on the strip and our hotel/resort.  We are staying at the Hilton Grand Vacation

Due to the high winds and chilly weather, we decided to go up into the NE part of the valley where it was warmer to visit the “Valley of Fire State Park.”  Boy, was it a crazy windy day with gusts up

Waking up to a little bit of snow this morning. Temp only made it down to 34 and is now 35.

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For those that are wondering in Grand Rapids, Michigan on average there are 20 days in March of 40 or better. The record most is 31 in 2010 in 1973 there were 28 days of 40 or better. The least number of days was just 1 in 1965 and in 1960 there were 4. As for 50 or better the average is 9 the most is 21 in 2012 and the least is 0 set is several years. And as for 60 or better the 30 year mean is 4 and the most is 19 in 2012. The least is 0  and that has happened is many years. As for 70 and above the 30 year average is 1 and the most is 10 in 2012 and 1945 and for 80? The most is 5 in 2012 and there are 4 other years that had 1.

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Looks like we're going to start March off and end February with low 40s, high 30s in SE Wisconsin. How disappointing, this winter was so good, but for snowboarding it had such a late start and probably an early end.

 

Is there any hope for some cold anytime soon? 10 day forecasts all look bad, GFS said cold but I assume it was wrong and Euro was right.

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Today's JMA weeklies are showing the eastern Canadian blocking pattern that could put a wrench into any real warmth near the GL's region.  The other kicker is the MJO could be heading into Phase 1/2 in the extended and that is not a welcomed signal for warmth.

Monday's Euro weeklies sorta gave a hint towards that in the extended...

EMON_phase_51m_small.gif

 

 

2.png

The JMA's temp forecast over next 30-days...

Y202102.D2412_gl2.png

 

Precip...

Y202102.D2412_gl0.png

 

 

March MJO temp composites...

MJO Temperature Composites and Significance for February - April period

 

 

Another LR clue for an eastern trough in the Week 2 period is the sudden crash of the SOI...this is a complete reversal of what has been weeks/months on the + side of things.  It seems to me the models are loosing the blocking yet again in the LR over Greenland and eastern Canada as they did during the winter months where it will impact the wx pattern quite a bit in the early Spring months.

Date Tahiti (hPa) Darwin (hPa) Daily Contribution 30 day Av. SOI 90 day Av. SOI
25 Feb 2021 1008.06 1006.40 -14.79 13.45 15.45
24 Feb 2021 1010.22 1006.20 -3.46 14.79 15.65
23 Feb 2021 1011.86 1005.55 7.54 15.24 15.75
22 Feb 2021 1012.44 1003.90 18.25 15.18 15.73
21 Feb 2021 1011.91 1003.05 19.79 14.73 15.55
20 Feb 2021 1012.36 1003.10 21.71 14.11 15.25
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Weather Underground has been calling for upper 30s and lower 40s for the next 10 days. I think they are drama queens who are more worried about getting ratings and website hits than accurately reporting the weather. I've seen them hype up cold and snow in fall and hype up warm in the spring, and it usually doesn't pan out. But maybe I'm optimistic. We had a really late start to our snowboard season, one of the longest in several years, I'd like to see a longer season, at least until mid-march. Just as long as there's no rain, we can hold out I think.

 

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2 hours ago, Tom said:

Today's JMA weeklies are showing the eastern Canadian blocking pattern that could put a wrench into any real warmth near the GL's region.  The other kicker is the MJO could be heading into Phase 1/2 in the extended and that is not a welcomed signal for warmth.

Monday's Euro weeklies sorta gave a hint towards that in the extended...

EMON_phase_51m_small.gif

 

 

2.png

The JMA's temp forecast over next 30-days...

Y202102.D2412_gl2.png

 

Precip...

Y202102.D2412_gl0.png

 

 

March MJO temp composites...

MJO Temperature Composites and Significance for February - April period

 

 

Another LR clue for an eastern trough in the Week 2 period is the sudden crash of the SOI...this is a complete reversal of what has been weeks/months on the + side of things.  It seems to me the models are loosing the blocking yet again in the LR over Greenland and eastern Canada as they did during the winter months where it will impact the wx pattern quite a bit in the early Spring months.

Date Tahiti (hPa) Darwin (hPa) Daily Contribution 30 day Av. SOI 90 day Av. SOI
25 Feb 2021 1008.06 1006.40 -14.79 13.45 15.45
24 Feb 2021 1010.22 1006.20 -3.46 14.79 15.65
23 Feb 2021 1011.86 1005.55 7.54 15.24 15.75
22 Feb 2021 1012.44 1003.90 18.25 15.18 15.73
21 Feb 2021 1011.91 1003.05 19.79 14.73 15.55
20 Feb 2021 1012.36 1003.10 21.71 14.11 15.25

I'm thinking a truly warm spring (MAM) is off the table. Fully expecting more shoulder season winter-ish stuff like we had for the NDJ period leading up to the arctic period.

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Winter 2020-21 Snow Total = 35.1"  Largest Storm: 10.2" (2/15-16)        Oct: 0.0 Nov: 1.5 Dec: 3.6 Jan: 10.0 Feb: 20.0 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0

 

Annual avg for mby = 49.7"  Avg for last 10 seasons = 58.4" (118% of normal)

2019-20 = 48.0"  2018-19 = 56.1"  2017-18 = 68.3"   2016-17 = 52"   2015-16 = 57.4"   2014-15 = 55.3"   2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)  2012-13 = 47.2"   2011-12 = 43.7"

 

Legit Blizzards (high winds and dbl digit snows): Feb 2011, Dec 2009, Jan 2005, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Nov 1989, Jan 1982, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, Apr 1975, Mar 1973, Jan 1967, Feb 1965, Jan 1918

 

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You guys that are better at sniffing out longer range patterns, i'd like your .02.  I'm headed to Destin FL area for 2 weeks in mid march.  Any insight into overall what to expect would be great.  I did check out CPC maps and they look great. but any additional input would be much appreciated.  I'm counting down the days.  

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16 minutes ago, BMT said:

You guys that are better at sniffing out longer range patterns, i'd like your .02.  I'm headed to Destin FL area for 2 weeks in mid march.  Any insight into overall what to expect would be great.  I did check out CPC maps and they look great. but any additional input would be much appreciated.  I'm counting down the days.  

Your golden!  It's going to be very nice down there so I wouldn't worry to much about cooler weather.  I was actually thinking about visiting some friends down near Clearwater, FL around that time myself. 

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5 hours ago, Tom said:

Your golden!  It's going to be very nice down there so I wouldn't worry to much about cooler weather.  I was actually thinking about visiting some friends down near Clearwater, FL around that time myself. 

Awesome.  Thanks Tom.

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1 hour ago, Stacsh said:

Locals calling for the first two weeks of March to be mostly AN here.  They say bye bye to the snowpack outside of piles.  

Worst case, destroy my ski hill then stop the lake from opening up. First world problems are so bad.

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6 hours ago, someweatherdude said:

I know this technically is about February, but I thought it would be more visible here.  KC didn't benefit from this, but lots of other people did. Snow.jpg.04528debcb773f73ccf29a68c8b3b0d8.jpg

How are there data points clearly well into March on this chart? Doesn't make any sense.

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10 hours ago, Beltrami Island said:

How are there data points clearly well into March on this chart? Doesn't make any sense.

The data is on point before March 2021 not March 21st...it’s within the current timeframe.

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Models are not in agreement for the system on the 4th/5th....both the Euro/GGEM are showing nothing while the GFS is bringing much needed moisture to central Plains as a vigorous bowling ball trough plows into KS/MO.  It doesn't happen often, but I think the GFS/GEFS are going to win this battle knowing the LRC pattern.  Check out the model differences:

gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_29.png

 

gem_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_29.png

 

icon_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_57.png

 

prateptype_cat.conus.png

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

The data is on point before March 2021 not March 21st...it’s within the current timeframe.

Ok, I see it now....feel a little dumb.  My brain must have been thinking they were correlating the axis lines with solstices/equinoxes or something???

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@Tom

We are actually really wet here in KC. Since Dec. 29th, parts of the city have seen 4.25 to 5.6 inches of moisture, above average for the winter season. Crazy dry for months prior to that, we were actually under a D1 drought headline prior to Jan. 1, it has since been knocked out.  We never dried out any of that 1.25 inches of rain that fell on Dec. 29th as the pattern stayed active for several weeks after that.  Now, we have warmer temps and the frost line is melting,(never got that deep as the snow cover the last two weeks prevented the deep cold from getting to the soil). Matter of fact, I don't think we have any frost line left, but the soils are dripping with moisture. Muddy mess everywhere.  

I think winter is done here in KC. Our final snow last year was Feb. 12th, this year as of now, was last week on Feb. 17th.  What do you think? 

Last winter we were well above average for the winter months, but, spring came in below average for temps as April and May were below average as a whole. Even with that 2 week stretch of crazy cold weather, I think KC will still finish above average on temps this winter, above on moisture, and well below on snowfall. 

It's amazing how one week of weather here in KC can be so much different from the previous week. Last week, KC started the week with 2-3 inches of snow on Monday, snowing for 10 straight hours at -7 to -4 degrees.(I have never witness that in KC, snowing and -7 degrees) Monday night into Tuesday, we cleared out, dropped to -22 in spots around the city, this was followed by another 1-2 inch snow Wednesday morning. Stayed below freezing until Saturday. This week, can't even tell that last week happened. We hit 70 degrees earlier in the week, all the snow and snow piles are gone. WOW! Set all kinds of records for cold...what an impressive 14-15 day stretch that was. 

Happy Spring.....right, or is winter going to throw a few more punches???? 

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You can always count on the end of the GFS run to show exactly what you don't want. Want it to warm up and thaw the lake? End of the GFS says 20s. Waiting for that big snow storm? GFS says rain at the end. Always believe the opposite of what the GFS says at the end, lol.

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36 minutes ago, Madtown said:

Maybe a surprise attack up here Sunday into Monday? Looks like 3-6"?

Good luck, I'm hopefully done with snow.  It can move north from now on.  I hate March snows.  Love it DJF, hate it in March, don't mind it much in April as long as it doesn't stay long.   We deserve a decent March around here.  

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1 hour ago, MIKEKC said:

@Tom

We are actually really wet here in KC. Since Dec. 29th, parts of the city have seen 4.25 to 5.6 inches of moisture, above average for the winter season. Crazy dry for months prior to that, we were actually under a D1 drought headline prior to Jan. 1, it has since been knocked out.  We never dried out any of that 1.25 inches of rain that fell on Dec. 29th as the pattern stayed active for several weeks after that.  Now, we have warmer temps and the frost line is melting,(never got that deep as the snow cover the last two weeks prevented the deep cold from getting to the soil). Matter of fact, I don't think we have any frost line left, but the soils are dripping with moisture. Muddy mess everywhere.  

I think winter is done here in KC. Our final snow last year was Feb. 12th, this year as of now, was last week on Feb. 17th.  What do you think? 

Last winter we were well above average for the winter months, but, spring came in below average for temps as April and May were below average as a whole. Even with that 2 week stretch of crazy cold weather, I think KC will still finish above average on temps this winter, above on moisture, and well below on snowfall. 

It's amazing how one week of weather here in KC can be so much different from the previous week. Last week, KC started the week with 2-3 inches of snow on Monday, snowing for 10 straight hours at -7 to -4 degrees.(I have never witness that in KC, snowing and -7 degrees) Monday night into Tuesday, we cleared out, dropped to -22 in spots around the city, this was followed by another 1-2 inch snow Wednesday morning. Stayed below freezing until Saturday. This week, can't even tell that last week happened. We hit 70 degrees earlier in the week, all the snow and snow piles are gone. WOW! Set all kinds of records for cold...what an impressive 14-15 day stretch that was. 

Happy Spring.....right, or is winter going to throw a few more punches???? 

I still can't believe how much above normal snowfall people to the north and south of us got while we sit so far below normal.  I guess "next year" finally worked for the Chicago Cubs.  Maybe it'll work for us. 

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The new 30-year climate normal are scheduled to come out in May. Will be looking as to how much change there will be.  My guess is that the temperatures means will be higher for most if not all months and I would not be too surprised to see the average snow fall here at Grand Rapids go up a little.

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5 hours ago, Stacsh said:

I smell 50's and 60's by the second week of March.  

I'm so over snowboarding at this point. I came home early today because it was too crowded. I hope for an early spring. This is legit the first time my season was coming to an end and I'm glad it is.

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It's looking like warm wx is here to stay. 60s are in the forecast for next week. Hardly any below freezing temps except briefly in the mornings. I hope the big rainer the GFS is advertising for the region pans out. Question is if this is false spring or not. We're past the point of getting sustained cold and snow of course but late March can still get very snowy even if it melts in 2 days. 

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Snowfall in Lincoln, NE:

2017-18: 21.4"   

2018-19: 55.5"   

2019-20: 17.6"   

2020-21: 49.4" (so far)

Average: 25.9"

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The moisture southwest is a blessing. No doubt. I wonder how long it will last for the western (Cali)and southwestern US before the southern jet shuts off or reverts back to the GOM side. Be an interesting month to see where the pattern goes for a lot of us.

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Well, on Wednesday I had my first ice-related injury lol. I sprained my elbow. So yeah, I'm DEFINITELY ready for Spring. 

Amazing how it took a full 5 Winters in the Midwest.

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>1" Snowfalls for Fargo-Hector Int'l Airport in 2020-21: 10/20 (4.2"), 10/22 (2.7"), 12/23 (1.2"), 12/27 (1.8"), 12/29-30 (4.1"), 1/23 (1.9"), 4/13-14 (1.4")

 

Total Snowfall for 2020-2021 @ KFAR: 28.6"            Coldest Low: -25*F (2/15)

 

 

First flake of the season: 10/15 @ 21:27 CDT

 

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2 minutes ago, FAR_Weather said:

Well, on Wednesday I had my first ice-related injury lol. I sprained my elbow. So yeah, I'm DEFINITELY ready for Spring. 

Amazing how it took a full 5 Winters in the Midwest.

I found myself being frustrated at moments when it would repeatably become inconveniencing  in some way. I catch myself and am I like “no snow good”

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Snowfall in Lincoln, NE:

2017-18: 21.4"   

2018-19: 55.5"   

2019-20: 17.6"   

2020-21: 49.4" (so far)

Average: 25.9"

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3 hours ago, gimmesnow said:

Extended forecast just keeps getting warmer and warmer.

Tonight's op Euro says hold on.  The warm-up in the extended gets delayed and moderated a bit as it shows a massive, cold, upper low retrograding into southeast Canada and spinning for a few days.  New England gets stuck under the heart of the cold, but the lakes are at least kept away from any real warmth.

season snowfall: 52.5"

 

'19-20: 36.2"      '18-19: 50.2"      '17-18: 39.5"      '16-17: 17.9"      '15-16: 20.0"      '14-15: 30.4"      '13-14: 48.3"      '12-13: 34.1"

 

Average snowfall: ~30"

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11 hours ago, OKwx2k4 said:

The moisture southwest is a blessing. No doubt. I wonder how long it will last for the western (Cali)and southwestern US before the southern jet shuts off or reverts back to the GOM side. Be an interesting month to see where the pattern goes for a lot of us.

I'm afraid its going to be a lackluster spring here and not many precip laden systems that usually come through.  The pattern this month into April is keeping hopes alive for moisture but these storms have been tracking just to our north or east.  The valley has only really had 2 good storms this winter that brought good moisture.  On my hike yesterday, the vegetation was so dry and brown.  Typically, this time of year, you have enough moisture to produce green terrain. I saw some signs of green grass up on on the trails but it was spotty.  Pretty sad to see.  I'm hopeful that there will be 1 or 2 signature storms that hit AZ this Spring before summer settles in.

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I'm digging what the 00z Euro is showing for the system this Wed/Thu...this would be a major blessing for the valley to score a widespread soaker in excess of 0.50" of rainfall...

1.png

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First half of March looks pretty boring. It'd be nice to get some rain at least

Snowfall in Lincoln, NE:

2017-18: 21.4"   

2018-19: 55.5"   

2019-20: 17.6"   

2020-21: 49.4" (so far)

Average: 25.9"

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Welcome to met Spring!  March is roaring in like a Lion for some and for others its limping in on its tippy toes compared to what a lot of us endured last month.  @FAR_Weather@Beltrami Island are experiencing some brutal cold right now in subzero temps.  Ouch!  Once the sun comes up it'll feel a lot better I assume.  Geeze, that's gotta feel a bit nippy after a brief spring teeze last week. 

Meantime, it's a nippy 38F over here as I'm experiencing the back end of the trough that swung through over the weekend.  Warming trend the next few days before the next storm comes in mid week.

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The period between the 10th-16th is one to watch for back-to-back Spring storms coming out of the SW/Rockies as the LRC's signature storms rolls on through the Sub.  The seasons 1st Severe Wx threat could develop for the S plains/MW depending on how strong the blocking sets up.  The north will likely score some late season snows and make up in that dept.  "Beware of The Ides of March" will be the theme heading into the middle part of the month.

 

 2.png

 

 

 

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Welcome to meteorological spring! This past February the mean temperature was 20.8 and that is a departure of -6.0 the high for the month was 48 on the 28th and the low was -12 on the 17th there was a total of 30.6” of snow for the month and that is good for the 6th snowiest February at Grand Rapids. For meteorological winter the total is 45.4” and so far for the season it is 45.8” At this time it is cloudy here and 30.

 

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As Tom said, it's a cold start to March here. -2°F. Got around 2" of powder overnight.

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>1" Snowfalls for Fargo-Hector Int'l Airport in 2020-21: 10/20 (4.2"), 10/22 (2.7"), 12/23 (1.2"), 12/27 (1.8"), 12/29-30 (4.1"), 1/23 (1.9"), 4/13-14 (1.4")

 

Total Snowfall for 2020-2021 @ KFAR: 28.6"            Coldest Low: -25*F (2/15)

 

 

First flake of the season: 10/15 @ 21:27 CDT

 

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10 to 20 inches of base left on my ski hill, lots of warm weather. This week will probably be the last given the temps, and the week after looking wet. Late start, early end for this year, I legit lost more than a month of my snowboard season this year compared to the previous year. Which is pretty substantial considering season is generally from mid November to mid March, with an entire month in the middle lost to big Christmas break crowds and college break.

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Beautiful weather this week!

Today
Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. Northwest wind 6 to 13 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.
Tonight
Mostly clear, with a low around 26. Northeast wind 6 to 9 mph becoming south after midnight.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 56. Southwest wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 27. Southwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming light and variable after midnight.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 56. Light and variable wind.
Wednesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 34.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 60.
Thursday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.
Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.
Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 35.
Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 59.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.
Sunday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 60.
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-13 here this morning with an old crusty and dirty melt/freeze cycled snowpack.  If it was still a winter like snowpack or fresh snow, I would expect it could have gotten to at least -20.

I figure from past history, that I have a 50/50 shot each March to record a -20 reading, of course that is almost always during the first half of march.  Looking over the next couple weeks it doesn't look likely to happen this year having missed it this morning.  

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3 hours ago, Tom said:

@FAR_Weather @Beltrami Island....LR GEFS suggesting a good possibility for late season Spring snows heading your way this month as the signal for a parade of storms coming off the PAC could very well eat away at your snowfall departures.

 

2.png

Looking at the remaining few inches of crusty snow I have left, and a week full of highs in the 40s upcoming.  I would rather tell nature to bank any potential snow for the rest of this season until next December.  However, if it does have to snow, it better be significant.  Nothing worse in my mind than 6" March snows on bare ground that melts in a few days only for another 6" that melts quickly followed by another 6" that melts quickly, etc.    

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Grass is beginning to show here in spots.... pavement edge, open areas, the path I dug through my backyard.  The grass is still a bit green because we had no real cold before the snow began to pile up.  When we finally got some harsh cold, deep snow protected the grass.

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season snowfall: 52.5"

 

'19-20: 36.2"      '18-19: 50.2"      '17-18: 39.5"      '16-17: 17.9"      '15-16: 20.0"      '14-15: 30.4"      '13-14: 48.3"      '12-13: 34.1"

 

Average snowfall: ~30"

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