12:15 PM | **March to come in like a lion…a cold lion…much of the nation to be colder-than-normal next week…snow threat in Mid-Atlantic late Thursday night/early Friday...another threat late Sunday**
March may come in like a lion…a cold lion…as about 2/3rds of the nation will be well below normal for early March with the cold wave extending from the Rockies to the New England coastline and to the Gulf coast. In addition, the calendar turn from February to March will be accompanied by an active weather pattern with multiple waves of energy and an accumulating snow threat in the I-95 corridor late tomorrow night/early Friday and another wintry event possible late in the weekend.
February is ending on a chilly note in much of the northern US and the first full week of March will be much colder-than-normal across a large area of the nation. In addition to the cold, several waves of energy will trek across the country in coming days bringing threats of late season snow to the Mid-Atlantic region. One wave of energy is actually impacting the Northeast US today with some snow as it drops southeastward like a “clipper” system across the Great Lakes region. Snow from this system can reach as far south as the northern suburbs of Philly (e.g., Bucks County) later today/tonight and places like upstate PA, northern NJ and NYC can receive small accumulations.
The next chance of snow in the I-95 corridor will come late in the work week as low pressure heads our way from the Midwest. The air mass is likely to be just cold enough to support snow in the DC-to-Philly corridor late Thursday night/early Friday although freezing rain and/or sleet can certainly mix in at times. Accumulations are possible in both of these metro regions – perhaps on the order of a coating to an inch or two – and there may be some impact on the Friday AM commute. It is still a bit unclear as to whether this system will push far enough to the northeast to result in snow in NYC and points north and east of there. Following this system, it’ll stay unsettled on Saturday with yet another wave of energy likely generating some rain in the Mid-Atlantic and snow can be mixed in at times as well. A cold front slides towards the Mid-Atlantic from the northwest on Sunday and this boundary zone could set the stage for a wintry event late in the weekend.
By later Sunday, the frontal boundary zone is likely to act as a conduit for copious amounts of moisture to ride along from the south-central US into the Mid-Atlantic region. The influx of a fresh, cold air mass raises the chances for snow or a wintry mix in the Mid-Atlantic region late in the weekend, but it is too early to say how much precipitation will fall and if a changeover to rain can take place. What is quite certain is that temperatures will be well below normal following this system across much of the nation as we move through the first full work week in the month of March. The coldest core of the air mass next week relative-to-normal is liable to extend from Montana to the Great Lakes and this is a region of the country that has suffered through a tough winter. One interesting stat, for example, is that Great Falls, Montana has averaged 27 degrees below normal for the soon-to-end month of February…March doesn’t look much better for them.
Stay tuned…it’s going to be quite an active beginning to the month of March.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian