I’m back at work and now we are finally finished with March. It was a soaker with over 7″ of rain and our 4th consecutive cold/cool month. At least it wasn’t unusually cool for March…just a notch or two below normal:
You can see that once again much of the USA had a warm month, especially in the West and Central sections of our country. In fact about half of Oregon was above normal as well.
This cool and wet pattern in the Pacific Northwest is perfectly normal in late winter and early spring during La Nina events. Yes, I know La Nina is now dead, but we had a weak La Nina through the winter and the early spring effects seem to be similar to 2008, 2011 & 2012. Of course reality is extra harsh this year since we’re on a rebound from the past two very warm springs. Remember last April? It was freakishly warm the first week of the month and then a real heat wave arrived just after mid-month. It was strange, but I know some of us just loved the “May in April” weather. Check out the number of 70+ days the past few Aprils:
There is no sign that we’re about to head into a warm pattern, but there’s also no sign that we’re headed into an unusually cool April regime either. Check out the temperature anomaly plot from the GEFS (GFS ensembles) for the next two weeks:
The “zero” line is a perfectly average temp. You see warmer than normal conditions most of this week, then cooler than average this coming weekend and early next week, then warmer again. The ECMWF is quite similar so I think it’s fair to say we have pretty typical early April conditions coming up.
By the way, we may hit 70 degrees for the first time this season on Wednesday. The pattern looks “right” to me with a north/south front stalled offshore and possibly quite a bit of sunshine just ahead of it. No onshore flow and a mild southerly wind could give us the boost for our first late spring feel outside. Since I’m getting old and conservative, I decided to stick with a 67…but that might get revised after I check things out Monday.
I just took 6 days off work to do some travelling with the family for Spring Break. We spent 4 days in Moab, UT for my son and I to do some mountain biking. I survived the famous Slick Rock trail! That was one of the weirdest mountain biking experiences ever. Really tough, but still less than 3 hours long. Then we drove through a snowy pass on the way to Zion National Park. Now that place was incredible, but a bit too busy for me. I had never made it to Zion but would love to go back during a slower time of the year…maybe September or October. We moved on to two nights in Las Vegas on the Strip. I figured it would be good for the teenage kids to see how wild it gets. They weren’t let down! What a strange place…definitely not my style, but briefly fun. And, a big windstorm on Thursday was quite a highlight. Screaming winds and a temperature drop from 79 to 60 in just a little over an hour as a cold front moved through. Then it was a LONG drive up to Reno Friday and then Reno to home Saturday. 2,700 miles total for this trip. It makes a huge difference having 3 available drivers in the car, I can’t believe I used to drive 10-14 hours in one day alone.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen