CAPE and BOB I am doing this one time for dumb and dumber up there and everyone else that pulls this same crap out every freaking year so from now on all we have to do is link or copy this post...
" It can get below freezing in march very easily. Get a good storm track with a normal type of cold high to the north and it snows with ease. It can be 50 the day before and after. "
" No, it's not "big cold". It's the mechanics of the atmosphere at work that you are completely overlooking. March warmth is shallow most of the time. It's very common to get sub freezing 925s and 850s in march but on a sunny day it hits 50 with ease. Take away the sun and add evap cooling and wet bulbing and it gets cold enough for snow. Were you not here yesterday? "
Those from Bob sum up the issue here in a nutshell but just to make this crystal clear...here are some factual statistics to back this up and put this stupid argument that comes up every damn year to bed once and for all
I am using Baltimore for these averages because honestly DCA is not indicative of much of this area...and I fully admit getting snow at DCA is difficult any time of year and even worse in March...so if you live on an island in the middle of the Potomac south of DC then you probably aren't getting much snow in March...but you also probably aren't getting much snow ANY FREAKING TIME OF THE YEAR...
The average high in Baltimore today is 46. The average high in early March is 49 and rises to 53 by March 15th. Not a crazy difference... so lets start with the temperatue anomaly for yesterday when it was snowing here
WOW that looks so impressive...NOT. And from range on an ensemble where many members will differ on the timing on specific storms or cold shots and that anomaly wouldn't even show up at all as weak as it was. Yea by March we need a slightly colder anomaly but not by that much. If that was enough to snow yesterday then stop acting like we need some blue ball of death to get snow. If the warmth is shallow as it often is and Bob pointed out, it can easily snow with just the right storm track during an otherwise warmish period. Blocking significantly increases the chances of that said "good storm track" and that is what has us excited. Not the prospect of some bitter cold wave.
So what does the 850 temp anomaly look like...which is more important because as we already established a shallow boundary level warm layer will easily be overcome by the cooling processes during precipitation.
That is about as good a look as we could possibly want right now. Might not win but we couldn't draw up a better looking map. Those anomalies at that range are plenty cold enough. Especially if you factor in the members that are warm skewing things on any given day. If the colder members are correct it will trend even colder. If they are wrong none of this matters.
Finally...historical evidence to support what we are talking about
These are not all the March snows obviously but just some of the best examples of what we are talking about here.
In 1924 it was 75 degrees on 3-30 then 38 with 9.4" of snow on April 1.
In 1942 from 3-28 to 3-30 the highs were 47,36, and 54 and there was 22" of snow during the period.
1943 from 3-16 to 2-26 the high temps looked like this
somewhere in there was 6" of snow...but would you guess looking at the temperatures?
1964 between 3-9 and 3-25 the temps looked like
and somewhere in there was 11.5"
1965 on 3-16 and 3-17 it was 59 and 39 degrees and 4.3" fell
1968 from 3-9 to 3-12 high temps were 75, 57, 55, and 41 and 4.4" fell
1976 there was a week in February with record highs in the upper 70s
then from 3-5 to 3-9 temps were
83,64,60,51,42 and 7.8" of fell
2009 it was 65 on 2-27 and 3 days later 5.8" fell and it was 53 the day it started.
2014 3-15 it was 66 degrees and 3-16 45 degrees and that an 8" snowstorm started that evening
Those are all facts... things that HAVE happened in history. None of those March snowstorms had arctic cold periods and most of them featured very warm days right before and after snow. Many of them the day's it snowed recorded highs in the 40s. So you can keep arguing that we can't snow in March without some crazy cold anomaly but history says you are wrong.