Cold but not close to a record...(3-27-13)

Cold but not close to a record...(3-27-13)

<B>(9:00 pm Wednesday March 27th)</B> Cool weather has been the norm the past two weeks here in central New York but some of the numbers don't back that up. We may not even end up in the top 20 of coldest Marches on record.
Yesterday I posted that this March was only the 21st snowiest March on record.  Today I decided to take a look at how our ‘cool’ March ranks with past years.  I took a look at the airport years of 1950 and beyond to be consistent with the rankings I created for snowfall. The temperatures you see are the monthly means (high+low/2)

Here is the list of all the Marches cooler than 2013


YearMean Temp
196024.3
198424.5
195027.1
195628.5
199229.3
197229.4
197829.4
199629.8
200129.9
199330.1
196530.3
196930.4
200530.7
199430.8
195931.1
197131.2
199931.5
196731.6
200731.6
200831.6
197031.7
197531.7
197432.3
201332.3


We still have a few days to go so things may change a bit but if the month were to end today, it would be only the 23rd coolest March on record. It is only the coldest March in 5 years. This is out of a sample size of 65 years.  That means this March is closer to the middle of the pack when it comes to March temperature than it is to the top ten coldest Marches. We were talking about this list in the office today and Dave Longley speculated (and I tend to agree) that the overnight lows may be keeping our mean temperature higher than you might think.  While our high temperature has been below normal on each of the last 14 days, only 9 of the lows has also been below. Also, I think we are mentally still being affected by the record warm March of last year.

Of course, this still begs the question: when do we break this pattern?  I have read some comments on-line that the blocking in the higher latitudes is getting ready to break down early in April. However, I still see signs that our temperatures will stay below normal through the end of next week.  I talked about the Arctic Oscillation in my last blog and that stays negative through early April which points to cooler than normal weather.  Here is another set of maps that tends to back things up.


So the block stays through the next 8-10 days.  It may not be as pronounced as say last week when we shivered through day after day of 30 degree warmth but even this weaker block should keep our temperatures slightly below normal.  Everything is relative, though.  The normal high by next Saturday (April 6th) is 53 degrees so it is very possible that we could still be below with a high in the upper 40s to near 50.  If we were to get a couple days like that it would still be an improvement over what we’ve just gone through over the last 2 weeks. In that sense we could stay the same but still get better.  

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