We’re still about two and a half weeks away from Easter, but we can already get an early idea of what may happen by looking at the trending patterns. For that we turn to the European weeklies and monthlies. This is a long range look ahead that shows the positioning of ridges (highs) and troughs (lows) across the country.
What is interesting is that the pattern that is being forecasted is very typical for this time of year. However, because it has been so warm out there lately and Easter is a little early this year it may end up being much, much cooler than some of you may like.
Just a reminder that what im about to explain to you here is strickly going off of the forecast data. It is not my forecast (although I do like the idea) and by no means is it etched in stone. With that said, the weeklies have been very accurate as of late, so we’ll see how this plays out.
Ok here we go…. the trend is for the warmer than average weather that has brought us 60 degrees or better 15 out of the past 18 days (8 days over 70 degrees) to begin retreating back to the west across the high plains. This will allow a trough to set up along the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. This means that our winds (upper levels) which have been predominantly out of the south or west over the past two weeks will shift to a more northerly direction. That will usher in cooler weather from Canada and drop our high temperatures down quite a bit from the 80 degree plus weather we saw just two days ago.
The big question here is exactly how chilly will it be. By April 8th (Easter 2012), our normal daytime high temperature climbs up to 62 degrees. If our highs reach 62 degrees that is still a very nice day around here for this time of the year. The problem is we have gotten so use to the 70s and 80s for the past two weeks that it will make it feel even cooler than it is. However, I personally don’t think we will even end up being that mild. I think the first week of April is a toss up. It could go either way, mild or chilly. But by the week of Easter the trough should be nicely established at that point. So I think Easter weekend will end up staying in the 50s with lows in the 30s. Then, when dealing with a trough you have to watch out for unsettled weather. Troughs are breeding grounds for storms. So the atmosphere will be ripe for the pickings so to speak. So the potential is there to go even cooler should the weather turn downhill. It is still a little too far out to give exacts, will it rain? Will it be sunny? How chilly will it be? But this should give you a good idea as to what you can expect.
Looking even farther ahead I think the summer may end up being much cooler than we would like around here as well. Certainly much cooler than the summer we had last year when the mercury cilmbed up to 90 degrees or better more than 40 times (18 is normal). The monthlies show quite a bit of unsettled weather and chilly temperatures for June, July and August and then much cooler than normal weather for the fall. Again, it is not etched in stone and could very easily change. But the point in bringing this up is to remind you that the pattern that we’ve been seeing around here seemingly all winter long does not and will not necessarily mean a warm summer for us. The winter warmth was brought on by the La Nina that is now weakening into a weak El Nino (complete opposite pattern). So where as this is not gospel, the signs are for cooler than normal down the road and not the other way around.
– Chris –