Chilly March Continues

March 14, 2006

Pretty well-defined pattern the next 4 days.  The big picture shows a large trough of low pressure diving down into the Gulf of Alaska Wednesday.  It progresses east and is centered right over the Northwest by Friday afternoon.  One weak shortwave moves through tomorrow, the stronger one with colder air behind arrives Thursday. 

The ECMWF never lets 850mb temps get below -4 C.  But the 00z GFS & 00z ETA drop us to -8 by Friday night.  That’s cold enough to bring snow to 1000′ with regular precip, and lower IF we get heavy showers again.  We all know how dependent snow level is on precipitation intensity (remember last week?).  A forecast 500′ snow level can easily be snow on the beaches with heavy, sustained precip with no wind.  So I’ll be watching this pretty closely.  My gut feeling is it’ll be tough to get sticking snow below 1000′, but it’s definitely a possibility again.

After that, all models show a change to warmer late March weather (finally 60’s?) next week.  The main difference is that the 00z GFS & Canadian bring one last system through later Sunday or Monday, the ridging.  The ECMWF doesn’t move that system over us so the warmer/dry weather begins Sunday.  I went with that forecast as you can see from the 7 Day.  We should have a much better idea in another 2 model runs.

I’m trying to think positively, hoping that the cool March so far means we’ll get warmer than normal in April or May???  I suppose that’s better than the opposite (last year’s warm start, then 2 months of cool/wet).