Believe it or not we are now less than three weeks away from meteorological spring. Many may be standing with applause and cheers at this statement especially having had to deal with the roller coaster ride we have been on this winter.
Though it is to early for an accurate spring forecast I am leaning towards an early spring this year with the possibility of a more active storm season. My Skywarn go bag has been sitting pretty much unused the past couple years due to lack of severe weather in Allegan county where I roam. We are more of an agrarian county with no big cities – Grand Rapids has over 70000 more people than Allegan County. I am not a city person, I enjoy the relative peace and safety of small town living.
Having went out on a limb in predicting ice events in southwest Michigan I will crawl further out on that limb and take a guess at a more active weather pattern with storms especially this spring as the atmosphere begins to warm with the subtropical jet steam setting up a battle ground over the Midwest and Great Lakes and the polar jet retreating back to its home in the Arctic. This is simply put as there are a lot of ingredients which go into such a forecast, however I am a simple man and like simple answers.
I believe we have reached the period of transition which will slowly progress towards a mild pattern temperature wise as we get into March and April. With this I am in agreement with Slim who was pretty much spot on with the winter forecast. This winter has been a strange one for sure with near record high and low temperatures – with moody swings in climatology the whole season. We will continue with these swings the rest of the month with most of the storm systems bringing mixed precipitation – as I said early this month this February may become historically the month of ice storms.
After a nice sunny day yesterday we have seen the clouds increase with the next system moving in. After a low of 12.6° at midnight we have risen to 21.3° at 9am. We may see a light dusting of snow this evening into tonight. Our next system moving in late Monday night through Wednesday may be more interesting with 1 to 3 inches of snow changing to a wintry mix along the I94 corridor and 3 to 6 inches from I96 to the north followed by lake effect snows. Yet another system will impact our weather Thursday. It will be interesting to see if this type of pattern will follow us into early spring.