More Cold Coming
The first day of Spring 2014 is this Thursday, March 20th. The first day of spring is also known as the Spring Equinox as the Earth begins to tilt back toward the sun. The days get longer, the nights get shorter and the northern latitudes begin their slow warm up.
In some years, the calendar and the weather will match up nicely. Sometimes by the third week of March, temperatures begin to warm up across the nations. Some years the weather and the calendar don’t match.
For the beginning of this spring, the calendar and the weather will not match up well at all. That pesky groundhog will be right this year. All indications suggest much colder than normal temperatures for the last ten days of March for most of the nation. As you can see in the 6 to 10 day outlook from NOAA, only the far west and southwest will be warmer than normal and most of the nation east of the Rockies will experience more cold and yes, most likely more snow.
Beef producers should be ready for more harsh weather conditions with more chances for snow, below normal temperatures and periods of strong winds. This will be especially true in the Northern Rockies, Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes. Even in the deep south, temperatures will struggle.
Beyond the ten day period and perhaps into early April the outlook remains cold as you can see below.
The same major features that were responsible for the very cold and snowy winter remain in place as we head into early Spring 2014. There is still a lot of cold air over the northern latitudes and the blocking pattern in the Gulf of Alaska will continue to allow the colder air over the Arctic and Canada to push south into the lower 48 states.
One silver lining will be precipitation. Precipitation chances look good for many areas over the next two weeks. We might even see some California precipitation toward the end of the month.
Any big warm up into a more consistent spring time pattern is at least three weeks away for most of the nation from the Rockies and points east.