The End of Winter 2011-2012, Or Could We Even Call it a Winter? 3/20

Taking a look back at the mild winter and the incredible warm start to spring, and why. Also the possible impacts of a weekend storm.

It's pretty much the winter that never was.

According to the NOAA- or the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, this is the 4 th warmest winter on record for the U.S., but let me also point out that it wasn't warm everywhere.
Europe was in a deep freeze for January and half of February. More than 650 people died in europe because of the extreme cold.
As far as our winter was concerned, we were in the second year of a weather pattern known as La Nina. La nina means cooler than normal waters off the coast of South America and typically for the U.S.

It means stormy conditions in the Pacific Northwest and many areas in the south east could see milder than average temperatures. Being that La Nina was in it's 2nd year, I think mild was almost an understatement.

But La Nina began weakening at the end of February, and it's actually expected to fully dissipate by the end of April.
But what has made us so warm over the last what almost two weeks now?
Well that is actually because we are seeing a big lift in the jetstream.We've had this very strong ridge move over the east. Looking at the jetstream now, it's way up in Canada. I'm talking about way north of the US/Canada border. This is honestly how it looks in June.

There is a big trough in the west so while we're 75 and mostly sunny,  Arizona is getting snow this week. This pattern has been a very stubborn pattern lately.

There is a storm system over the Central Plains but it's going to become cut off. Meaning there's going to be nothing in the upper levels to move it along. So it will be sitting and spinning dumping plenty of rain over the south central U.S.

How does that affect our weather? Well we're looking to sit under this ridge through the end of the week. Meaning nice weather.
Then the storm system will finally start to get picked up by the jetstream and move east, impacting us likely, this weekend.

Everyone has noticed everything in full bloom so early. The flowers, the trees, and the allergies.
Look at the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. They are peaking this week.
The warming process has sped up the blooms so they are peaking about a week before estimated this year. The average peak date is actually April 4th.

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