Monday, 11:35 a.m.
And many will be broken. Shattered. Wiped out. In all my years of studying the weather, I can never ever recall seeing a run of warmth that we are now entering. And by 'run of warmth', I'm talking not just intensity of the warmth, but the duration of it. For at least the next 10 days, if not two full weeks, temperatures will average 15 degrees above normal over a huge area from the eastern Plains/eastern Dakotas and Midwest to the central and northern Appalachians. That's at least 10 days AVERAGING 15 degrees (and, in many cases, MUCH, much more) above normal. There will be some closer to 20 for the next 10 days.
The remarkable thing about it? There is unanimous agreement on it with all of the models. GFS? Check. Gfs Ensembles? Check. Canadian? Canadian Ensembles? NAEFS? Check, double check, and triple check. European? European ensembles? European weeklies? Yes, yes, and yes.
Here's a sampling of the GFS ensemble 7-day means from tomorrow through next Monday:
How about the second week? Not AS warm, but certainly very, very far above normal for the period Tuesday, March 20 through Monday, March 26:
Um, anyone think the groundhog was right at this point?
Look at a sampling of the GFS 850mb temperature anomalies for Sunday evening:
Very revealing in many ways! The core of the warmth at that time is centered over the Midwest and Great Lakes into southern Ontario, and the core of that bullseye is about 20C above the norm. That's just jaw-dropping in my book.
I, of course, am loving it. I managed to grind out my first century ride of the season on Saturday, and it was with temperatures starting in the low 30s and ending up in the low 40s, with a wind frequently gusting over 20 mph. It so happened it was the best possible time in my schedule with the least amount going on, so despite the cold, I did it. But for outdoor enthusiasts such as myself, the upcoming weather will be far, far better for such endeavors. I already know one chore that awaits me this week, and that is the annual yard and garden spring cleanup!
The unspoken issue with all of this is that it is so warm so early that there is a growing potential of problems down the road. I can already play the conversation in my mind with one of the local fruit growers when I see him - 'you're killing us! The apple trees are going to think it is May and start to bud and blossom, and there will be a frost in April.' That's one of the big problems that we face with such an insanely early start to the growing season. It's TOO early, and could lead to big problems if and when that frost does happen. And in spite of how warm it has been and will be, you have to believe it's likely to happen even in a pattern that gets back to near normal.
It will also mean an early start to the allergy and bug season. They don't tend to affect me as much, but for many that will be an issue. On the other hand, it means an early start to the grilling season. Golf courses will be opening up, if they haven't already (Jim, give me a ring - I'll be down soon!). And with the time change, we'll actually get to enjoy these nice, warm days with the extra hour of daylight tacked on to the end of the day!
Overall, I'm in favor of this pattern, though I know somewhere down the road there will be a price to pay. I hope it's not a very hefty one!
The pieces are falling into place for a powerful storm to develop in the central Plains this afternoon and strengthen tomorrow night as it crosses Pennsylvania into southern and eastern New England.
While the deep winter cold is on a temporary hiatus, it will come back in the wake of a potent storm at midweek, a storm that will deposit its heaviest snow on New York state and northern New England.
Once the storm off the Carolina coast pulls away from the coast tonight, the weather pattern will be rather quiet in much of the country into early next week, and it will also be rather mild in much of the nation. That will all change with a storm during the middle of next week that could dump heavy snow from parts of the Ohio Valley to the Northeast, and it will be followed by another blast of very cold air for the second half of next week into next weekend.
Cold and wintry weather is not leaving any time soon, though there will be a couple of breaks in the cold over the next week that will offer up some spring teases.
The worst of the bitter arctic air is easing over the next 24 hours, but there's still plenty of cold air in the pattern, and there will be a storm next week that may spell trouble as it runs from the Northwest early Monday to the East late Wednesday.
A record-setting cold air mass is in place from the southern Plains to the East Coast today. It will ease later this week, and another of its kind is unlikely, but the pattern remains cold for much of the next two weeks.