Breezy and Warmer TodayMarch 14th, 2014 at 4:29 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
48° at noon in G.R. – cooler at Lake Michigan, just 38° on the beach at Muskegon. We had a gust to 46 mph at the Regional Airport in Holland last hour. Click on the map to enlarge. These are high temps. from Thursday. It’s kind of strange that Bismarck ND makes 62 before we can get to 50. It was 69 at Chamberlain SD. That was warmer than most of Texas. The 64 at Des Moines was 27 degrees warmer than they were on Weds. We’re getting the air that was over Missouri yesterday. With bare ground we could have made 60 today, but the snow and ice will knock 10-15 degrees off of that. We could reach 50 briefly in G.R. It was 52 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota yesterday and they have a lot of snow on the ground. We have a shot at a light shower or sprinkle towards evening as a cool front comes thru. The models are printing out a trace to .05″, so not much. Later Fri. night into Sat. AM we could see a few flurries. Most of the weekend will be cool and dry. Temperatures could be as low as the single figures Sun. and Mon. mornings and we may hold only in the 20s Sunday PM. The models bring up a storm Tues. night into Weds. The GFS plot gives us 0.76″ of mostly rain (1-2″ snow at the end), but the European model has only 0.12″. Lets go with (and hope for) the lower totals. We need an overall dry pattern so the snow melts off gradually and without a lot of rain to cause flooding. Regardless of precipitation, we need to watch as ice breaks up on the rivers. People have asked if the piles of snow will still be here in April. They’ll be greatly reduced, but it’s going to be hard to melt thru 2-story snow piles in 2 1/2 weeks. Another question is does the cold winter mean an unusually hot summer. The answer is no…that did happen in 1936, but the norm is that cold winters are followed by average summers – maybe a degree cooler than average. Severe weather? Last year we had low numbers of severe storms and tornadoes. Partly that was because it was pretty cold for much of the early spring. We’re starting out that way again…with an overall quiet Jan. – March….but I think we kick things into gear in April. We’ll get our chances here, but the better bet for severe storms will be across IL – IN – OH to our south. Back to the high temp. map. It was warmer in Grand Island NE than it was in Tampa and Orlando. It was another 60-degree day for Portland OR and Salt Lake City…but very cold with highs in the teens across most of New England and New York.
Also…a record weekly draw for March of natural gas - 195 BCF! Dec., Jan., Feb., now March all had a weekly record. It was the 10th coldest winter ever in Michigan and a top-ten coldest winter in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. It was a top ten warmest winter for California, Arizona and Alaska. No severe weather reports in the U.S. on Thursday – it’s been too cold for severe weather on more days than not.