Late Winter, Early Spring Temperature Outlook: Colder Than Average in Parts of North,
Jan 21, 2018 11:14AM
By Linda Lam of The Weather Company - January 19, 2018
According to the latest outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, much of the northern tier of the U.S. will see colder-than-average temperatures to end winter and begin spring, while portions of the southern U.S. can expect warmer-than-average conditions.
At times, record cold has impacted the central and eastern U.S. since December. These frigid temperatures have been due to the jet stream pattern's upper-level ridge of high pressure over the western U.S. and a southward dip, or trough, over the eastern U.S. This trough has allowed rounds of arctic cold to infiltrate portions of the U.S. at times this winter.
February Temperature Outlook
A pattern change is now expected to bring colder temperatures to the West and warmer conditions to the central and eastern U.S. for the end of January and into the beginning of February.
However, there are indications that another shift in the pattern will occur around mid-February. This could result in colder temperatures returning to parts of the East.
Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist with The Weather Company, stated that "we expect a significant pattern shift toward colder temperatures in the eastern U.S. by mid-February" due to changes in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
The good news for those in the South that are tired of the cold: La Niña conditions are expected to still be in place through February, which typically results in a ridge of high pressure near the Southeast, limiting the cold in the region, Crawford noted.
The forecast map above reflects this thinking, with temperatures near to slightly below average from the Northeast westward into parts of the Northwest. The greatest below-average temperatures are expected to be in the north-central U.S. during February.
Meanwhile, areas from Oregon and northern California into the Southeast can expect temperatures to be near to slightly above average. Temperatures will be the highest above average from the Southwest into southern Texas and parts of central and southern Florida.
Heading into spring, areas of the central U.S. and Northwest may see the biggest temperature changes.
In March, warmer-than-average temperatures are expected from Florida along the northern Gulf Coast and into New Mexico and Colorado, with temperatures near to slightly above average extending from the Southeast into much of the central Plains and into southeastern Montana. Temperatures well above average are possible from southern Texas into coastal Louisiana.
Much-colder-than-average temperatures, however, are anticipated in the Northwest in March, with colder-than-average temperatures also expected from Minnesota into the eastern Great Lakes and far northern New England. Near- to slightly colder-than-average temperatures are likely for much of the West, as well as the Midwest and Northeast.