The last thing just about anyone wants to see is 20’s and 30’s for highs the first several days of spring. But that’s exactly what happened. Temperatures have been below average for 10 to 14 straight days depending on your location and upwards of 20 so far for the month of March in many spots. In fact, this is the coldest March so far since 2002. Temperatures over the past several days have been nowhere close to normal across much of the country with the cooler than average weather continuing for another couple days before more spring like weather moves in toward the end of the week. So why has it been so cold?? Keep reading…
The following several graphics are pretty self-explanatory. First… it’s been so long since we talked about normal temperatures, the first image shows you what those are. But remember that they are climbing about every other day so they will climb very quickly through April. The next images are high temperatures over the last week compared to where we should be.
So what’s with the cold start to spring?? Well a lot of it has to do with this very image below.
This is a graphic representation of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). Simply put, if that squiggly black line rises above the straight line-representing zero (becomes positive), then there is a higher likelihood of warmer weather in the United States. If it drops below the straight line-representing zero (becomes negative), then there is a higher likelihood of colder weather in the United States. The black part of that squiggly line is what’s already happened… and notice that it has been below that zero mark for the last several weeks and significantly below that line for the last 10 days or so. This gives us a good reason of why it has been so cold. But also notice the red line; which shows the forecast of this Oscillation. It shows that the AO will stay negative through at least the next 10 days. This gives the U.S. better than average chances of experiencing below normal temperatures.