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    Finishing the Cold Season Marathon

    5/02/2014, 7:59:58 AM

    Friday, 11:55 a.m.

    Since winter set in months ago, it has seemed like it has lasted forever, especially from the northern Plains and Midwest to the Northeast. At least April wasn't too cold in most of the nation, with pockets of cold in the northern Plains and Midwest and a few areas a little below normal in the East. By the same token, it just wasn't warm, either. Yes, there were a handful of days that were above normal where it felt like summer was knocking at the door, but there were many more days with temperatures stuck below average. It has seemed like we're running a marathon trying to shake off the cold season and welcome in the warm! We're closer to the finish line, but, as you find in any marathon, some finish faster than others. I'm going to be with the slow pokes, trust me.

    Just look at the GFS ensemble seven-day means for Saturday through next Friday:

    It's pretty evident that the last of the true cold season chill will leave the southern tier of states this weekend. In contrast, we just can't seem to get rid of the cold air in Canada! Every time we drain the cold pool, it fills up again, then behind any noticeable cold front, some of the chilly air is drawn southward into the northern Rockies and northern Plains. Sometimes it has made it to the southern Plains and Deep South, though that seems unlikely with this next front later next week.

    That said, look at the GFS ensemble forecast for day 16, or Friday, May 16:

    There are many members with chilly air over the eastern half of the country, some stronger than others. The concern is that with a deeper upper-level trough, any high pressure area that comes down through the northern Plains and Midwest may have enough chilly air associated with it for frost to form.

    Now, if you're ready to cross the finish line and get on with the second half of spring and get ready for summer, the south and the central Plains look nice and warm in the coming days. Look at the projected six-hour maximum 2-meter temperatures for Monday afternoon:

    There may not be any places that get over the 100-degree mark, but it's likely to get close. And the 80s are likely to reach parts of the lower Ohio Valley Wednesday afternoon, then larger areas of the Ohio Valley Thursday and Friday. Some of that warmth should reach into the mid-Atlantic states Friday and Saturday, though I have doubts about it ever reaching New England.

    Speaking of marathons, I'm about to run in my first one in Pittsburgh Sunday! I've done the Skirt Sports half marathon (last June in Boulder, Colorado), so now I want that 26.2 sticker! Should you be at all interested in 'watching' me, my bib number is 4387. I won't be fast. Like ending the cold season, I just want to cross the finish line on my own power - and running! It will be the biggest leap of my abilities I've ever made to date, despite all the cycling I've done. I'll let you know how things go on Monday's post.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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