Winter is Losing the Battle to Spring in the Southeast

I’m going to mention the operational GFS now, and I know it has not been all that great this winter, but I do feel that it is at least adequate in showing a big picture pattern in a general sense.  It shows a total of seven low pressure systems marching from west to east across the country over the next 16 days.  This kind of very progressive pattern greatly favors any real cold staying locked up north, and that is where most of the major winter storm threats will remain.  Also, in that entire 16 day period, the strongest surface high pressure system depicted in the lower 48 states is a 1035mb surface high in North Dakota on February 22nd.  Mostly, the SHP systems are in the 1022 to 1032mb range.  This would lead to an average to a little below average temperature pattern for the areas where these air masses cover, and that is going to be generally north of the 40 degree north latitude line.

Despite all the favorable MJO, -NAO, -AO, +PNA, WPO, WTF, WTH, BFD, OMG, BYOB, CYA, La La La Nina talk, sometimes you just have to throw all that mumbo jumbo aside and look at the big picture and use common weather sense. I n fact, that has been the absolute best forecasting approach by far all winter long, and I see no reason to abandon what works.  When I do that what I see is our chances for much more in the way of real cold and wintry threats south of I-40 being washed away by multiple rain and severe weather threats over the next two weeks or longer.  Also, the old saying is true, you can’t fool Mother Nature. The fact of the matter is the more direct rays of the sun are striking the northern hemisphere now, and the sun angle is getting higher at a pretty fast clip. It’s getting warmer and warmer.  The Robins have returned. The flowers are starting to bloom. 60 and 70 degree temps are becoming common. And springtime severe weather is becoming more common.  You know, I don’t see anything out of the ordinary going on.  It appears the change of seasons is progressing as it normally does this time of year, and for us in the Southeast a normal progression into spring means a rapidly dwindling chance for any significant wintry weather after about Feb. 20 unless you live above 2,800 feet in the Appalachians, or in North Carolina.  Heck, this winter it will probably snow in May in North Carolina!  So, the northern half of AR, and TN, the mountains of TN and NC, and the northern half of central and eastern NC stand the best chance at seeing any significant winter weather for most of the remainder of the month.

Now that I have spent most of this post throwing a warm, wet blanket on the cold and snow lovers, I will throw out one tid bit of good news for those of us south of I-40.  I do see the overall pattern possibly evolving into one that would support one last-gasp winter event for much of the Southeast in the Feb. 27 – March 6 time frame.  It may very well never come to pass, just like the end of January/early February threat that I saw ended up being bungled by the medium range models, but at least I do see some sliver of hope for a winter’s last stand type of event.  Also, one can never truly with 100% confidence say winter is over until around Tax Day in the South, so keep hope alive!  I haven’t given up, I’m just keeping a realistic head about it and if a big winter storm or major cold blast happens in the next two weeks to one month, then I will be very pleasantly surprised.

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One Response to “Winter is Losing the Battle to Spring in the Southeast”

  1. It seems as if the Southeast US (KY, TN, GA, AL, SC, NC) will get some wintery stuff this upcoming weekend (Sat/Sun). Seems that GFS has trended stronger with the clipper-type system. NOGAPS model also has the storm now.

    What is your take on this?

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