While roughly the eastern 2/3 of the nation is still grey, chilly, and in spots a little snowy, meteorological spring has arrived. For record keeping, climatologists and meteorologists divide the seasons into 3 month chunks. We are now in the spring chunk (March-May). The nation once again experienced an above temperature normal winter. Thankfully the winter also produced above normal moisture for many areas that were hit so hard by last years drought. The Plains though are still in bad shape.
For the Chicago metro area we experienced an above temperature and precipitation winter. The snow and cold were certainly late to arrive with a whole bunch of new records set for latest below freezing temperatures, longest string without measurable snow, latest one inch snow, etc.
Taking a little closer look at the past three months for Chicago:
- December Avg 36.1 degrees +8.4 Precip 2.21 -.04 Snow .9 -7.3
- January Avg 26.6 degrees +2.8 Precip 3.63 +1.90 Snow 2.6 -8.2
- February Avg 26.1 degrees -1.6 Precip 2.96 +1.17 Snow 16.1 +7.0
Once again today (Friday), the metro area is still under the influence of the very broad upper level trough over the area. The graphic shows a plot of the weather balloon data from this morning at the 700mb level (~10,000 feet). The trough covers the country from the Plains eastward. The areas in green show high relative humidity which means clouds and most likely some precipitation.
The green in the graphic over the northern Rockies into the Pacific northwest is from a new system that is coming in from the Pacific. This will be moving over the Midwest Monday into Tuesday with a possible new area of accumulating snow near or over the metro area. While meteorological spring might have begun, Old Man Winter still does not want to depart the area.
You can follow my articles by clicking on the “Subscribe” link on top.
Comprehensive weather articles and discussion can be found at http://www.storm-central.com