Friday, March 6, 2015's been warm! Will it continue?

Over the past 30 days the Inland Northwest has been abnormally warm, and indications are the Inland Northwest will experience well above normal temperatures next week, and maybe beyond.  Before we look ahead, take a look at the temperature anomalies over the past 30 days.

Temperatures have been running about 3 to 7 degrees above normal, with the greatest anomalies over North Central Washington, with even higher anomalies over portions of eastern Oregon, and southern Idaho.

The weather pattern ahead appears to be showing a very warm signal.  So what is going to cause this?  The atmosphere often goes through various oscillations that affect our weather pattern.  One of these that we will not dive to deep into is the Arctic Oscillation (AO).  This AO value is forecast to soar next week with the highest value seen in quite some time.  Take a look at the forecast for the AO

The black line is the observed and the red line is the forecast.  As you can see, the highest value seen since November is 3.5, and is forecast to reach a value close to 6 within the next week.
This combined with our current weak El Nino often produces warm temperatures.  Take a look at what typically occurs temperature wise with this pattern:

As you can see nearly the entire US usually sees warmer than normal temperatures in this scenario.

So, let's look at the upcoming pattern.  Here is the GFS model forecast for Tuesday

The model indicates a low pressure system over the eastern Pacific Ocean with a warm southwest flow ahead of it shown by the arrow.  This will usher in warm air from the southwest into Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Here is our forecast high temperatures for Tuesday, which is about 15 degrees above normal and near record values for many cities.

Now, here is the GFS model forecast for Thursday

The pattern looks similar.

How about next Saturday?  Does it look any different?

The warm pattern continues.  Regarding precipitation, this flow often brings in increased moisture as well.  At this time, it looks like the heaviest precipitation through the week will remain north of the Canadian Border.  The best threat for rain for the Inland Northwest will be Wednesday into Thursday.  

What about after that, here is the 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center:
The pattern refuses to budge!  What about after that, what is the spring looking like?  Here is the CPC outlook for March, April, and May.

It appears that this warm weather pattern may last for awhile, with elevated odds of warmer than normal temperatures.  Of course, occasional rounds of cooler and unsettled weather typically occur in the spring.  But when all is said and done, we will probably look back at this being a warm spring.

1 comment:

  1. Although the warm weather is nice, there are already grass fires occurring and it's going to be a LONG fire season....