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A LOOK BACK, A LOOK AHEAD
April 3, 2013 7:15 PM
A look back at March and a look ahead to the next few months across the Province.
March was an interesting month indeed. A quiet start to the month for the Province, with not much Snow for most, however it certainly picked up. The Weekend of March 23rd, Southeastern Labrador was POUNDED with Snow and Wind. Forecast models were dropping 80-100+ cm of Snow and it appears they were bang on. The road from Red Bay to Lodge Bay was closed for 6 days and its no wonder why. The picture below was taken by Clyde Barney this past Monday.
Our latest "March Out Like A Lion" Storm certainly didn't disappoint in terms of wind and pounding waves along the Northeast Coast. However, it also gave another blast of Snow to the Northeast Coast. Gander and parts of Central Newfoundland were the bullseye with over 50 cm in 3 days! That bumped March Snowfall totals over normal in Gander. Here's a breakdown of Snowfall across the rest of NL, courtesy of Rodney
Some more great numbers posted by Rodney Barney
. Here are temperatures for the month of March.
Once again, NL ends March Warmer Than Normal, sticking with the recent trend.
NL WARMTH = UK COLD?
Some interesting stuff coming from the UK over the past few days. The final numbers from the month of March are in and the CET (Central England Temperature) shows that March 2013, was the coldest March since 1892. Impressive stuff. The CET is the world's longest temperature data set, started back in 1659. This info courtesy of Paul Hudson, who is a great follow on Twitter @HudsonWeather
We've seen this before. Record cold in England, while just across the pond here in NL we see warmer (in some cases much warmer) than normal temperatures. Perfect example: The Winter of 2010-2011. A Winter not soon forgotten in UK for it's record Snow & Cold and not soon forgotten here in NL for it's warmth. Especially in Labrador.
Much like the early Winter of 2010-2011, higher than normal pressure completely dominated over the Arctic and Greenland this past month. Below is map of the Northern Hemisphere, looking a Sea Level Pressure Anomalies for March 2013. The bright yellow, orange and reds show the impressive Higher than normal pressure over Greenland and the Arctic. Meanwhile, look how much lower than normal the pressure was Southeast of Newfoundland and across the Atlantic.
This type of Blocking High setup typically keeps the UK cold with North/Northeasterly winds wrapping into the region. However here in NL, especially in the Winter, it can keep us milder by keeping the cold Arctic air out, with an more dominate onshore Easterly flow. However as we move into May, June, July & August this type of setup is NOT typically a good thing. Remember Juneuary & Fogust? The Summer of 2011 was dominated by this type of a setup.
LESS SEA ICE = MORE BLOCKING?
As I've mentioned on some previous posts, there's some debate in the scientific community surrounding the recent lack of Summer and Fall Arctic sea ice and whether it's linked to these blocking patterns and cold Winter UK outbreaks. Here's a great blog post by Stefan Rahmstorf (who is the head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) on the issue. Have a read if you're interested: http://rabett.blogspot.de/2013/03/melting-ice-and-cold-weather.html
Still with the blocking issue, we're already starting to see some improvements with the blocking high easing over the Arctic and North Atlantic regions. When the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and AO (Arctic Oscillation) are in a negative phase, higher than normal pressure dominates in these regions. However as you can see, both the NAO and AO are set to rebound over the next few weeks. Again, good news for us as we move into the warm season.
APRIL MAY AND JUNE WARMTH TOO?
As we look ahead... Environment Canada has released it's outlook for the next 3 months and once again, NL is expected to see warmer than normal temperatures.
In terms of probabilities... EC is giving much of the Province a 60-100% chance of warmer than normal temps over the next 3 months.
SHORT TERM->WEEKEND SPRING STORM
If you've been watching Here & Now the past few nights, or checking out the Live Blog, then you likely already know we have something brewing for Saturday. Forecast models continue to develop a system from the Southeast U.S. up the East Coast and then track the Storm into NL on Saturday. However. there remains some disagreement. The past few days, the GFS & GEM models are were showing a track which would bring a decent Rain & Wind Storm for most of the Island, with some Snow to Rain for the West Coast & Snow and Wind on tap for Central/Eastern Labrador. The European model had been tracking the system further East, keeping Snow a possibility for Western & even Central Newfoundland. Now this afternoon, the latest GFS has shifted a bit further East and the European further West! And Cha-Cha-Cha go the forecast models!
It's still only Wednesday, stay tuned to the live blog for the latest. Either way, it appears this Storm will pack a punch with strong winds.
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