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Spring 2021 Medium/Long Range Discussion


madwx
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March looks to start off with a Neutral/Positive AO/NAO and a -PNA.  This should allow the SE Ridge to flex it's muscles a bit and bring warm air to at least the SE half of the subforum.  An active storm track looks to continue though there may be periods of dry weather.   There is a chance of a minor disruption to the TPV around the beginning of March but any cold blast would be short lived.

Looking long range there will be a lot of snow to melt over the next month or two leading to increased flood risk.  In addition the drought over the SW and plains is continuing which may allow a stronger EML to move into the region increasing severe weather chances.  

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Look on the ensembles heading into March would suggest the potential for a warmer/wet period, with the possibility of severe wx somewhere, particularly east of the Plains. Again, this is tied to the retrograding longwave pattern across North America and the Eastern Pacific.

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Can be seen here in the 12z EPS mean, watch the behavior of the ridging that generally starts over the eastern Pacific, whose retrogression eventually leads to the jet dropping into the Pacific NW.

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Obviously there's more to it than this, but with the western/southwestern drought already pretty far along and likely to continue/worsen and the bona fide Nina, it does set off some alarm bells in my head for a potentially active Spring severe season in the Midwest.  Certainly if it does turn out to be active, it won't be a thing where you look back and wonder 'gee, how did that happen'?

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1 hour ago, Hoosier said:

Obviously there's more to it than this, but with the western/southwestern drought already pretty far along and likely to continue/worsen and the bona fide Nina, it does set off some alarm bells in my head for a potentially active Spring severe season in the Midwest.  Certainly if it does turn out to be active, it won't be a thing where you look back and wonder 'gee, how did that happen'?

I wonder if that drought expands to make it a hot and dry summer in parts of the Midwest. It seems like it’s been awhile but we haven’t had a decent La Niña and -PDO in awhile either. We’ve obviously had warm summers recently but not the 100 degree drought stuff.

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39 minutes ago, roardog said:

I wonder if that drought expands to make it a hot and dry summer in parts of the Midwest. It seems like it’s been awhile but we haven’t had a decent La Niña and -PDO in awhile either. We’ve obviously had warm summers recently but not the 100 degree drought stuff.

It's early but I'd be surprised if it's not a warmer than average summer.  If the areas upstream are in drought (and expands into the Plains), then it raises the odds of generating some intensely hot airmasses out there.  Whether or not we actually get into a technical drought in this part of the country, even a few weeks of relative drying out would make it more likely that some of that intense heat would spill eastward.

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8 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

It's early but I'd be surprised if it's not a warmer than average summer.  If the areas upstream are in drought (and expands into the Plains), then it raises the odds of generating some intensely hot airmasses out there.  Whether or not we actually get into a technical drought in this part of the country, even a few weeks of relative drying out would make it more likely that some of that intense heat would spill eastward.

The good news is we are going into spring with a healthy (in fact for some, record) snowpack in place, as opposed to 2011-12 when the entire central CONUS dried to a crisp and started to bake in March and never stopped until almost fall.

I have to think that the recent winter storms in the southern Plains will help as well, since it's unusual for them to be going into spring with any snowpack at all in place, isn't it?

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After a brief cold shot at the beginning of next week models are keying in on warmer than average temps flooding the region starting around the 3rd of March.  Of course areas N of I80 will have to melt off a heck of a snowpack before the full warming potential can be realized

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17 hours ago, Hoosier said:

Obviously there's more to it than this, but with the western/southwestern drought already pretty far along and likely to continue/worsen and the bona fide Nina, it does set off some alarm bells in my head for a potentially active Spring severe season in the Midwest.  Certainly if it does turn out to be active, it won't be a thing where you look back and wonder 'gee, how did that happen'?

I'm thinking that the dry line will be displaced farther east than usual which has seemed to have happened in recent seasons with a  relative lack of Plains activity.  Way out on the models, of course, but I'd watch the March 4-5  time frame now for lower and possibly mid MS valley for severe wx.

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9 hours ago, Indystorm said:

I'm thinking that the dry line will be displaced farther east than usual which has seemed to have happened in recent seasons with a  relative lack of Plains activity.  Way out on the models, of course, but I'd watch the March 4-5  time frame now for lower and possibly mid MS valley for severe wx.

I agree. Some signs are there

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I used to discount early season setups at this latitude out of hand (given that we can have low-level instability issues into late May), but events like 4/9/15, 3/15/16 and 2/28/17 have given me a new respect for them. Heck, we've done better in oddball "off-season" months (even including 12/1/18) in recent years than we have in May and June. Last year also had that late March potential big day that largely busted, but still produced a few tornadoes.

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