Spring 2018 Forecast

It’s that time of the year. Everyone is anxious for warmer days, later sunsets and blooming flowers (maybe not the pollen though).  Patience is called for though…after all we live in NE Ohio and western Pennsylvania! Winter can overstay it’s welcome into March or even April some years. In fact, on average, 21% of our annual snow has yet to fall! 

That said, March 1st is the start of “meteorological” spring, which consists of the months of March, April and May. Meteorologists like tidy records and since the astronomical seasons don’t always begin and end on the same days every year, we made up our own seasons. That’s how we roll.

Average highs in spring:

One of the things we’ll be keeping an eye on as we get into spring is the severe drought across the middle of the country. If that area remains dry, it ups the odds of hot weather centering over the Plains states in spring and summer.  If that is the case, there could be implications downstream in out area. An increase in precipitation for Ohio and Pennsylvania is a possible outcome….as there is often an active storm track on the northern and eastern sides of a mid-continent heat ridge.

THE FORECAST 

Right now I think odds favor spring being near to somewhat warmer-than-average. I think the chances of a warm spring are higher than the chances for a chilly season. A somewhat wetter-than-average spring is also likely.

 

HOW’D THE WINTER FORECAST DO?

Our winter outlook was looking quite good until the very warm 2nd half of February. Here was the temperature forecast: 

Here’s what has actually happened:

Pretty decent, but I wouldn’t give it an “A”. The cold was centered farther west than the forecast as the ridge off the Southeast coast really fought back hard, especially late in the game.

Temperatures compared to average in Youngstown during winter:  

DECEMBER: -2.6°
JANUARY: -1.3°
FEBRUARY: +7.2° (4TH WARMEST ON RECORD)

I give our snow forecast an “incomplete” as we are not done with snow yet! The last flakes typically fly in early April.  As of February 28th, snow totals have been above-average. 

 

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