Blog: Warm Air Is Bye Bye

Temperature Trend
Temperature Trend

Many folks enjoyed a Spring tease yesterday.  High temperatures broke a record. Norfolk International Airport hit 82 degrees.  This broke the record of 78 set back in (1965).  Elizabeth City also hit 82 degrees.  This broke the old record of 74 set back in 1965.  It was warm.  It was breezy.  It was nice.  Then yesterday evening a strong cold front moved through Hampton Roads.  There wasn’t much rain in Hampton Roads, but there was some brief heavy rain north of the metro.   I had the windows open for most of the day to get fresh air into the house.  It started to get warm by the evening, but I knew that the cooler air would be moving in.  So I let the cooler air come into the house to cool things down after the front passed.  It felt great.

Today it is going to be much cooler/colder and windy.  Temps dropped to the 40s this morning.  They will only rise to the low-mid 50s this afternoon.  The cold front is well to the south this morning.

Regional Weather Map
Regional Weather Map

The winds are out of the north/northwest at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph.  There will be some gusts between 35-40mph near the shore today.  Especially on the Eastern Shore.  Here were the gusts from this morning.

Wind Gusts This Morning
Wind Gusts This Morning

Winds will stay up through the late morning into the early afternoon.  Then they will taper off into the late afternoon and evening.  As high pressure builds in today we’ll see lots of sunshine.

We’ll see clouds move in tomorrow.  High pressure will shift east a bit.  High temperatures will be in the mid 50s and the winds will be much lighter.  It will be pretty nice for Valentine’s day except for the increased cloud cover.  By Wednesday we’ll have some more warming.  Highs will rise to the upper 50s.  We may even reach the 60s again.  However, the moisture will increase.  So we’ll have a decent chance for rain.  The cold front will swipe through by late Wednesday.  We’ll be dry and colder behind it on Thursday.  Highs will only be in the upper 40s.   Then by next weekend we’ll be back in the 60s again.

So more up and down temperatures, but there’s no real cold air in sight.  Sure it will be a little chilly on Thursday, but it will only be about 2 degrees below the average.  If you want my forecast for Spring.  Here it is…. I think we are going to heat up.  Big time.  There’s some decent snow cover in the northeast states, but there’s not much snow cover over the Midwest and central Plains states.

https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_model/images/full/National/nsm_depth/201702/nsm_depth_2017021305_National.jpg
Now Depth Over The United States

Less than 30% of the country is covered by snow, and there will be a lot of melting in the northern central U.S. today as temps there will be about 10-20 degrees above average.  Also, there’s been a lot of record heat in the Arctic lately.

The Acrtic Oscillation is currently slightly negative, but it is forecast to go positive soon.  That would tend to favor warmer conditions. Another factor is that many trees and plants are blooming.  It’s just a theory that I have, but as trees sprout leaves they can act to keep up overnight temperatures.  This as the leaf canopy helps to hold more heat near the surface.  Plus, the plants and trees can hold some heat themselves.  This would tend to increase overnight temperatures a bit earlier than usual.  I’m thinking his will happen in the next couple of weeks.  Again…this is just a theory that I have.  I’ll try to see if there is any research on it.  Either way, all of this points to a big warmup for March into May as the colder air starts getting locked up to the north.  Without a lot of cold air intrusions, it may be another fairly quiet severe weather season.  Without big cold air masses dropping south, you don’t get the big dips in the jetstream.  We’ll see how it pans out.  Hopefully, we don’t warm up to where everything blooms and buds, and then temps drop to the teens one night.  If it does though, then we’ll keep you posted.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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