Weather Blog

Cooler Air Returns As Spring Begins

Spring Helps Transition From Winter To Summer

After spending 12 days under an unseasonably warm air mass, cooler air is set to move in as we inch closer to the official start of spring. After spending days in the 60s, 70s even 80s, the thought of snow returning may sound absurd but spring/fall are transition seasons so seeing flakes falling isn’t out of the ordinary.As winter ends and spring begins, the jet stream starts to make its way back north and warmer air replaces the cold, dry air mass that has been sitting over an area for the last couple of months. The same thing happens during fall, except it’s backwards; cold, dry air moves south and replaces the warm air mass that is typical for the spring and summer months.

Unseasonable Warmth Continues As Spring Arrives Early

Ridge Brings Warmth And Quiet Pattern

The first day of spring is March 20th, which means we have a little less than two weeks before we officially end the winter season. However, South Dakota, and much of the Northern Plains, will be under the influence of a strong ridge which means temperatures are not only unseasonably warm but they look to continue through mid-March.

A Recap of Tuesday’s Winter Weather

We have had a little bit of everything across the area today. Many of us woke up to freezing rain, sleet, snow or even just regular rain showers. The biggest impacts were to the north where we saw over a tenth of an inch of ice. By the afternoon Mother Nature turned her box fans on and turned them to high. Winds gusts have topped 40 mph in many places this evening. Below are lists of the ice accumulation from this morning as well as this evenings highest wind gusts.

Pineapple Express Brings MoistureTo West Coast

Much Needed Rain Seen In California, Impacts Plains Too

It’s been in the news lately for bringing much needed rain to the west, especially to parts of California where most of the state is suffering some form of a drought. It’s called the Pineapple Express but you won’t see Seth Rogen or James Franco in it. So what is the Pineapple Express and how does it affect us in the Northern Plains?The Pineapple Express is actually part of the polar jet, it’s a southern branch of it. A high pressure system that is located in the Gulf of Alaska blocks the polar jet but during the winter it weakens. As a result, the polar jet sometimes forms a southerly branch, which is better known as the Pineapple Express. This southerly branch typically is located just north of the Hawaiian Islands and brings moisture westward from as far as Asia. Much like how low pressure systems move across land, low pressure systems ride along the jet and bring heavy rain to the west coast. These heavy rains occur, typically, over the course of days but, sometimes, it can last for longer than a week.

Spring Fever: Unseasonable Warmth Spring Like, Not January

Recent warm temperatures are atypical for mid January, so why are they here?

It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2015, let alone the middle of January. While we saw snow and cooler temperatures earlier in the month, we’ve recently been under a warmer air mass boasting temperatures typically seen in the spring. Why are we seeing these temperatures if it’s mid January?