Cold Pattern To Hold Through The Last Week of March


The 500 mb flow pattern (commonly referred to as the steering currents) really haven't changed that much from what we saw over the Winter months. The above image is a forecast through most of next week at 500 mb or roughly 20, 000 feet above ground level. The polar jet continues to feed unseasonably cold air south into the Midwest with most of the mild to warm weather confined to the western U.S. near a weaker subtropical jet stream. The coldest temperatures at 850 mb (or approximately 5000 feet above ground level) were shaded in purple while the warmest temperatures were in red, well to our south. With this pattern (trof across the east with ridging out west) expected to hold through the remainder of the month, temperatures in our area will continue to average below normal. Normal highs for the end of March across our area range from the mid 50s north to around 60 far south. Other than some occasional warming across the area over the next week, it appears several strong cold fronts will push across the area which will keep the chill in the air for the rest of the month. As far as any significant rain or snow, it appears with this pattern locked in place, any moisture transport north out of the Gulf of Mexico will be rather limited. On occasion, we may see more of a zonal (west to east) flow, allowing weather systems to move in from the west which may bring a better chance for more significant precipitation next week. 

The Climate Prediction Center CPC depiction below indicates most of the eastern half of the country will average below to well below normal through the 28th of the month with the mild to warm temperatures confined to the far west. The Vernal Equinox (First Day of Spring!) this year is tomorrow at 11:57 AM CDT. The season that brings increased daylight and warming temperatures has been put on hold across the Midwest through at least the end of this month!




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