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System 1 Falls Apart Mostly Rain System 2 Saturday Night Sunday Morning
March is such a tricky month. Winter is trying to hang on. Spring warming is slowly strengthening and the battle grounds are set between these two conflicting seasons. We saw what happened last weekend with the large severe weather outbreak across the south with deadly tornadoes in Alabama. We are embarking on another conflict of size in the atmosphere thanks to a developing storm heading to the Great Lakes.
Saturday the Storm Prediction Center is advertising another widespread outbreak of severe weather across a large portion of the South. I would not be at all surprised to see the area of risk increased to enhanced when we get to Saturday. While severe weather is a threat in the south, a winter storm will play out across the Northern Plains and the Western Great Lakes. Winter Storm Watches are already up in this area for the potential for blizzard conditions in some areas.
For us we will watch is going to be a long arm as a front swings around from the low that will be over the Great Lakes. We are coming out of a very cold air mass but we will see temperatures warm a bit on Saturday with some sunshine. We should reach the 40s in most areas. That will at least warm the ground up a bit before precipitation arrives Saturday night.
The system moves quickly with precipitation arriving Saturday night between 9pm and midnight. Inland areas from Northwest New Jersey to Northeast Pennsylvania to the Hudson Valley & Connecticut north of Route 84 could see a brief burst of snow/mix at the start for an hour or so before it transitions over to freezing rain and then rain. Everyone else sees all rain from this into Sunday morning and it should be out between 9am and noon at the latest.
Early weather service forecasts of minor ice accumulations are indicated for areas well north and west of the coast with the exception of a small band across Connecticut north of Route 15 and south of Route 84. Temperatures will be steady or rising into Sunday afternoon as weather conditions improve and we should see highs in the 40s everywhere.
Next week we may catch a break for 3 days. By Wednesday a strong ridge aloft will be building into the Eastern US and that should mean dry weather and some sunshine for the first 3 days of next week. A deep trough in the west will keep things busy there and it may not be until late next week when the next storm system heads toward to the Great Lakes. This pattern means no winter issues. We should gravitate toward seasonal temperatures next week with highs reaching into the 50s but that is probably the most we will be able to get out of this.
Chatter in long range social media weather gossip circles is centering on the teleconnections and specifically the Pacific North America index which is screaming an off the wall positive reading. This means strong ridge in the Western US and a trough in the Eastern US. It might open the door for more volatility in weather over the long term. However this points to nothing at all specific. We could argue that in the middle of a developing spring pattern there will be perhaps another one of those windows of opportunity opening up around the 3rd week of March but there is nothing specific on the table this far ahead. It is worth watching over the next week or so to see where weather models decide to go with this but I wouldn’t draw any other long range conclusions over this.
MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE USE OF MAPS
Please note that with regards to any tropical storms or hurricanes, should a storm be threatening, please consult your local National Weather Service office or your local government officials about what action you should be taking to protect life and property.