Sunday, February 24, 2013

The groundhog was out to lunch

You might remember that the official forecast from Queen Charlotte, the resident groundhog of the region, was for an early spring.

If computer models are correct -- and nearly every forecast model agrees on what's coming over the next two weeks -- the groundhog led us all astray.

It appears as if some very chilly air, at least for this time of year, is headed to the Southeast, and it could dominate our weather for the first half of March. We're not out of the woods from a standpoint of snow, either.

A cold front that will cross the region around the middle of the week will signal a change to cooler conditions.

It appears now as if high temperatures next weekend will be in the upper 40s, with morning lows in the mid 20s. The cold weather will affect nearly all of the eastern United States, and there won't be any escaping it in the Deep South either.  Some of the advance temperature forecasts for places like Jacksonville and Orlando are anything but balmy.

The Climate Prediction Center, operated by the government, is calling for much-below-average temperatures over the next 10 days, with below-average precipitation.

The big question is the storm track. The National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., says it sees the possibility of mountain snows later this week, and some meteorologists say one or more of the upper-level low pressure systems that will spin around the base of the counter-clockwise atmospheric flow will be strong enough to bring snow at lower elevations.

The European computer model carries the storm systems much farther south, along the Gulf Coast (how about a few flurries in Jacksonville for the opening days of March?), but other models keep the systems farther north.

This much seems certain ... March 2013 won't be anything like March 2012, when temperatures were 10 degrees above average for the month and we had several 80-degree days.


Anonymous said...

The groundhog is more reliable than weather forecasters, unless he now faithfully believes their predictions too.

Brian said...

I see the south getting hit with a pretty decent storm this weekend. Cold air will defintely be in place n should be enough moisture to work with.