Well March will certainly be coming in like a lamb today. All quiet out there except for some early morning frost. Temperatures today will be above average and it appears we should remain above average for at least the next week or so, perhaps longer.
It really is remarkable in looking back. We had essentially two months (December into the first week of February) with overall “mild” air, then two weeks of brutal cold air, then the last 10 days of the month essentially above average again. The “island” of cold was in a “sea” of warmth. More on that in the discussion.
Today: Sunny and pleasant with highs in the mid 50s.
Tonight: Clear and cool with lows in the 20s.
Tuesday: Milder with highs near 60.
Wednesday: Pleasant with highs in the 60s.
It’s a new month and a new “season”. It’s the start of Meteorological Spring. The weather world breaks down the months into four seasons but instead of using the traditional calendar with the varying start dates to the seasons each year, we have a hard start and end date to the seasons.
Dec. 1 through the end of February is meteorological winter.
March 1 through the May 31 is meteorological spring.
June 1 through Aug. 31 is meteorological summer.
Sep. 1 through Nov. 30 is meteorological fall.
This is really used to keep our stats in easy form. It’s also typically the coldest months and the hottest months and then in between.
So as we look back at winter how did it go?
Well let’s start with the averages… first over the past 30 years or so.
So right off the bat something should catch your eye. It was colder (overall) two and three winters ago! As a matter of fact over the last 30 years this was the 13th coldest in that period. Amazing isn’t it?
Going back through all the data, some 130 years worth… this was the 53rd coldest. In the end the winter wasn’t “remarkable” from a numbers standpoint but we know this is sort of not true.
Let’s start at the beginning because it was sort of like three parts to the winter…the first part was Dec. 1 through Feb. 6. It was “mild”. So mild that we were in the Top 20 of that specific time period.
Then the arctic air hit!
From the seventh of February through the 19th as we came out of the arctic air, it was the coldest in that time specific period.
and then from the 20th through the rest of the month, we went back into the warm air again.
There we are at the bottom of the above chart.
So you put it all together and we come out at No. 53.
Again an “island” of cold in a “sea” of warmth.
It was our 58th wettest as well.
March has now started and typically in March we can get just about anything, from tornadoes to winter storms…from 80s to near 0°. Usually there are lots of windy days and big surface low pressure areas traversing the Plains. This is a result in the battle of air masses from the retreating colder Canadian or Arctic air masses and the northward moving warmth and higher moisture (dew points). There have been some big storms over the years.
It’s also a reminder that March can bring severe weather as well. Today starts the week of Severe Weather Awareness week in the region.
and today reminds you to have multiple ways of receiving weather information and to also HAVE A PLAN!
More on this during the various newscasts this week.
March has started and at least for the next couple of weeks, odds heavily favor above-normal temperatures.
and if you want to take it for the rest of the month…
So you put it all together and you get this…
Odds favor this first week and then some being pretty dry, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t better rain chances after the 10th into the 15th or so, and with those chances… thunderstorm risks and perhaps even some lower-end severe weather chances too.
This will end up as an active month, and tornadoes will start to become an issue in the Plains at some point after about the next 10 days. Do you realize that this tornado watch back in late May of 2019(!) was the last watch issued for the whole of the KC Metro area?
That was the day of the Linwood EF4 tornado.
Last year there were few actual tornadoes in the region. We got off lucky… and we really didn’t have that may severe thunderstorms overall either.
This year will be more active.
Our feature photo comes from Lara Bee at Longview Lake.