Milder than average once we get past this weekend, that is. A warm ridge of high pressure, which shunts arctic air far to the north, is going to move to the eastern US early in the 2nd week of the month. It won’t be a permanent fixture for the entire month, but the upper air flow even after this ridge weakens and flattens will still flood most of the US with Pacific air, with no arctic air in immediate site. Later in the month, an extended version of the European model suggests greater variability in the pattern with more short lived cold shots interrupting mild periods; more “ups and downs.” This variability may extend into the first part of April, too. However, there is virtually no indication of a longer lasting flip back to colder than average temperatures during that time period as of this writing. The Buffalo airport has received 48″ of snow thus far, 32.9″ below the average-to-this-date 80.9.” The last 7 months have had above average temperatures (especially our incredibly mild December), and I have no reason to believe when all is said in done that March will not run above average as well, even with those ups and downs which may appear after the 20th or so. At one point, Lake Erie had more than 75% ice cover, but now it’s back down to <10%. So it’s safe to say Lake Erie will not freeze this year, or come close to freezing.El Nino remains strong, but it has entered a phase of more rapid weakening at this time. It will take some time for its influence to dissipate, however…there is a lag between the weakening and the impact of that weakening.
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