We have been stuck in Phase 7 of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) this month and that combined with the ongoing La Nina has been responsible for the mild, snow-less conditions across the Mid-Atlantic.
Are things about to turn the corner with Winter returning as we head into March? The image above is the latest MJO forecast from the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) model. Look closely and you can see that we have been stuck in phase 7 (mild in the east) for much of February. We are forecast to move into phase 8, before heading into phase 1 and 2 (phase 8, 1 and 2 favor cooler than average temperatures in the eastern United States).
The next few images show the temperature correlations that are associated with the 8 various stages of the MJO in February:
– Notice how warm stage 7 is across much of the eastern United States
– Stage 8 typically correlates to cooler than normal temperatures in the east.
The next few images show the temperature correlations that are associated with the 8 various stages of the MJO in March:
– If the ensemble models are correct and we do actually end up in phases one and two as we head into March, they both favor cooler conditions in the east.
Lastly, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) may begin to play a more significant role in our weather as we head into early March. The latest forecast for the NAO indicates a transition into the negative phase. The negative NAO favors blocking over the North Atlantic Ocean favoring unsettled conditions along the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastline. A negative NAO coupled with phase 8 and phase 1 of the MJO may indicate that colder temperatures and wintry precipitation may make a comeback across our region as we head into March.
Happy President’s Day Weekend!