Turning Warmer to End March

Figure 1. Latest 8-14 day temperature outlook from the CPC.

Spring officially starts in just 5 days. Like clockwork, old man winter appears to be breathing his last breath.

Below-Average Temperatures Persist for Now

Much of the country is going to continue to experience cooler than average temperatures over the next week to week and a half. This is because of a – EPO/+PNA regime.

Warm End to March?

Based on model guidance, a moderation of temperatures should commence for the eastern two-thirds of the lower 48 to close out the month, roughly around the 25th.

Figure 2. GEFS 15-day EPO index forecast | NOAA ESRL

This is reflected in the latest 8-14 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (see figure 1), and will be driven by a weakening of the +PNA, +NAO, and flip to a + EPO phase.

Brief Cool Air Intrusions Will Still be Possible

There will still be intrusions of cooler air into April from time to time (which should be expected given spring is a transition from winter to summer). Think of it like climbing a stair case.

However, they will grow less frequent and intense with time.

Figure 3. Latest 3-4 week temperature outlook from the CPC, valid from March 30th – April 12.

Looking at the latest 3-4 week outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (see figure 3), it looks like above-average temperatures will continue for the first half of April.

Gulf Coast Unlikely to See Another Freeze Until Next Winter

Given the upcoming pattern and climatology, the northern Gulf Coast likely won’t see another freeze until winter of 2019 – 2020.