Medium Range Forecast “More Like May” but April Fools Beware!

Weeping Cherry Blossom, April 6th, 2013, Washington D.C., photo credit Ron Cogswell

Get through Thursday and we are well on our way to record warmth across the Mid-Atlantic as we round out the end of March.  But before you pack away your winter coats early April may make fools out of us all.

Medium Range: Temperatures and Rainfall

A ridge of High Pressure is looking to set up shop across the Mid-Atlantic beginning this weekend and holding pretty strong through the remainder of March.  There will be several cold fronts offering several periods of cooler-weather and several rain events, but overall temperatures are looking more like May than late March as highs soar into the middle to upper 70s on Saturday afternoon.

The latest Global Forecast System Ensemble isn’t showing much in the way of drought relief through the end of March.  Periods of steady showers are likely Sunday night into Monday (good news) but we need a prolonged period of steady rain (Nor’easter) to really put a significant dent in the drought.

Short Range Forecast:

Friday morning:

A warm front will lift through the DC Area late Thursday night into the pre-dawn hours of Friday. Warm air will be traveling (advecting) on top of the left-over cold air at the surface with the latest European and Canadian models showing the potential (30% chance) for pockets of drizzle or freezing drizzle across northern Maryland on Friday morning, the GFS keeps the region dry.

Saturday Record Highs:

Saturday will be “the day” to get out and enjoy the blossoms that are able to reach peak as temperatures will soar well into the middle to upper 70s.

Much-Needed Rainfall possible Sunday Night through Monday morning:

The next cold front will approach the DC Region Sunday afternoon hopefully producing some much-needed showers through Monday morning.

We desperately need Rain as drought conditions continue to hold steady:

Latest Maryland drought monitor conditions (courtesy NOAA)

Latest Virginia drought monitor conditions (courtesy NOAA)

Long Range forecast:

The European Ensembles agree with the American forecast models (GFS) that a ridge of high pressure may prevail across the Mid-Atlantic through the end of March. However, the latest European model also hints that a trough may try to build into the east as we head into the first few days of April.

Sunday March 26th – bright orange colors show ridging over the Mid-Atlantic with southwesterly flow bringing in mild temperatures!

Friday March 31st – 

Currently it is looking like March may go out like a “Lamb” as ridging wants to hold steady according to the latest European Ensemble

Then comes early April-

Latest European Ensemble shows a ridge building out west and a trough building into the East… Last “gasp” of Old Man Winter?  We shall see.

Hope everyone has a terrific Thursday!

3 thoughts on “Medium Range Forecast “More Like May” but April Fools Beware!

  1. Wow, you are a walking “climate database”… very interesting. The only snow I can remember in April was 3” in the southern suburbs around Easter one year (can’t remember the year). And of course a few early April light wet snows which coated the blossoms.

  2. Nice write-up! A lot of years we have a “tease” in April, a threat of wintry weather, but seldom does it materialize, as my personal record amount of snowfall in April going back to the 1950’s is only around an inch. The closest to a meaningful April snow that I can recall was 5″ during the morning of March 30 back in 1964, with another 3″ during the night of March 31-April 1. I lived near White Oak (Silver Spring) at the time.

    The March 30 snow was gone before the onset of the March 31 event, in fact I played golf with no problems (aside from my game) during the afternoon of the 31st.

    Long before my time, there was 5.4″ of downtown snow on April 1, 1924, with 9″ at close in northern suburbs, like College Park and Takoma Park. That storm was accompanied by thunder snow.

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