A gigantic pattern shift brings April-like warmth this week

March 9, 2015 0 Comments

It certainly seems too good to be true, but we are actually talking about a warm, sunny stretch of weather this week that pushes the mercury well beyond what we’ve experienced in recent weeks and even past what a typical week in March would produce. We’re looking at the possibility of not just 40s and 50s, but even some 60 degree warmth in the local area as soon as the early part of the work week. Talk about weather turning on a dime! Just a few days ago, last Thursday for instance, we were double digits below zero with only hope of reaching single digits above zero for high temperatures. That was an all too familiar scenario, one that had played out every few days in each week of the previous six or seven weeks going back to January.

The northern branch of the jet stream has shifted well to our north, keeping active weather out of our weather picture this week and allowing some very warm air into the Upper Midwest.

The northern branch of the jet stream has shifted well to our north, keeping active weather out of our weather picture this week and allowing some very warm air into the Upper Midwest.

At the surface, we’ll have a few different factors at play this week. One is the melting snow. With less snow on the ground as we go through the week, it will be easier to achieve warmer readings, so a few more 60s could crop up by Thursday or Friday and possibly next Monday when a few surges of warmth are expected. Those little blasts of warmth will associated with weak storm systems to our north that will draw in surface winds from the south, allowing mild air in, enhancing the mild temperature scheme for us. Tuesday, for instance, features a record high of 63 set in 1977 for Rochester. Our forecast brings temperatures close to 60 degrees, but the question is: will enough snow melt by Tuesday afternoon ahead of an approaching cold front to warm the mercury beyond 60. At this point, probably not, but it could be fairly close.

An expansive ridge of upper level high pressure late in the week will help a decent surge of warmth influence our weather.

An expansive ridge of upper level high pressure late in the week will help a decent surge of warmth influence our weather.

A cold front Friday night is expected to cool us down a notch for the weekend, but temperatures still look to remain on the warm side for this time of the year over the weekend with 40s and lower 50s likely. As I mentioned earlier, another shot of warm air on Monday ahead of yet another cold front may push the temperatures toward 60 degrees. There are signs of slightly cooler, more seasonable weather for the remainder of next week, but right now nothing drastically colder appears to be in store.

Mild weather hangs around into the end of the weekend and possibly early next week. Looking to the west, we can see that a slightly cooler air mass may be threatening to drop our temperatures a bit in the coming week.

Mild weather hangs around into the end of the weekend and possibly early next week. Looking to the west, we can see that a slightly cooler air mass may be threatening to drop our temperatures a bit in the coming week.

As far as records go here’s a list of records this week. Many of them are from just a few years ago in 2012 when Rochester set 7 record highs in a row.
March 9th  59 (1977)

March 10th  63 (1977)

March 11th  63 (2012)

March 12th  67 (1990)

March 13th  66 (2012)

March 14th  66 (2012)

March 15th  73 (2012)

March 16th  78 (2012)

 

Incidentally, the “normal” temperatures this time of the year are 37 and 22 for highs and lows.

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