Is winter over? The short answer is “NO”. Obviously, with Saturday night’s little surprise snow event, you can’t say definitively anything is over. On Tuesday it will be 70 and Wednesday it will be 75. Anyone would say that. However, it’s looking more like we have another full month of old man winter.
The Set-Up: Believe it or not, the next two weeks are the prep stages for an interesting March. Last weekend there was a stratospheric warming event or SWE. This is where the Polar Vortex was literally split into two parts. This was to create a spilling of cold air into the United States. Yet, that takes time. It’s cold in the Mid-West. Even though it was going to be above normal here in the East the cold air is seeping back into the western part of the country and slowly coming this way.
Negative NAO: A negative NAO is an atmospheric teleconnection which when positive doesn’t create blocking in the atmosphere over Greenland. Thus, when winter storms come into our region they come and go. There is nothing to slow them down and allows them to, in a sense, miss us or not contain any cold air that is around long enough. In the next few weeks, the NAO is going to go severely negative. When it goes negative it allows blocking up north. It also sustains the cold weather longer.
Thus, it sets up the possibility of a potential storm in the East that even though we are in March it doesn’t matter. Now, it doesn’t guarantee one but it provides a set-up where we get our most significant storms and sometimes historic storms.
We shall see if March comes in like a lion!