From Blow Torch to Pattern Change

What a gorgeous weekend in store with temperatures soaring into the middle to upper 60s with mild weather continuing through much of next week.  With that said, a pattern change may be shaping up similar to the winter of 1960 where a mild snowless winter turned the corner late February into March with a trough setting up across the east and a ridge building out west.  Will this pattern repeat? There are no guarantees but let’s take a look at the latest European Ensembles.

Here is the upper level ridge that will be responsible for the spring-like weather this week:

  • Notice the bright red blob sitting over eastern Canada and extending southward into the mid-south.  This upper level ridge will provide the warm weather coming this weekend and into the next week ahead. The image below shows the upper level (500mb) chart Monday evening (President’s Day).


Here are the temperature anomalies (image below) associated with the upper level ridge at 850 mb:

  • Pretty impressive for February standards with record shattering warmth making it all the way into the midwest. New England will likely remain much cooler with the snow-pack on the ground.


But things may change in a big way as we head toward the last weekend of February:

  • Notice how we replace an upper-level ridge with a deep trough across the eastern United States, a pocket of “blocking’ over extreme eastern Canada and a ridge trying to build out west.
  • The image below shows the potential pattern change about a week from President’s Day (February 25th – 28th) 


Here are the temperature anomalies (at 850mb) associated with the upper level pattern in the image above:

  • Notice the “green blob” over the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Deep South… those are temperatures running between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius below average.


Next up is the latest GFS Model (this is only the control run, not an ensemble) showing a potential colder and unsettled pattern shaping up for the east coast as we head from late February into the first week of March:

  • “Train of coastal storms” possible during the February 25th through March 2nd time frame


Enjoy the warmth… if the Euro Ensembles are correct, this won’t last too long. Looks like we are heading into a colder and unsettled pattern as we end February and head into the fickle month of March. 

If we don’t get one decent storm by St. Patrick’s Day, I will officially throw the towel in.


4 thoughts on “From Blow Torch to Pattern Change

  1. It’s too early to throw in the towel on St. Patrick’s Day for DC area snow lovers. The biggest March snowstorm in DC history was 12″ that fell on March 27-28, 1891. A another big late March snowstorm was on March 29, 1942, when 11.5″ fell at DC.

    Much larger falls in 1942 were recorded in some close in suburbs. 15″ was recorded at College Park, 18″ at Silver Spring and 20″ in Laurel. Downtown Baltimore recorded 22″, which the hillier Northwest ‘Baltimore suburbs measured astounding depths of 35″.

  2. I agree.. there’s always been something off… either being missed by a 50 miles or it being too warm or too cold with no moisture. Storms just aren’t phasing far enough south this winter… hopefully that can change late Feb through mid-March.

  3. At times the pattern has not been all that terrible. We just can’t quite seem to get all the pieces together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s