March 2017: Where did Spring Go?
Where on Earth did spring go? That was the question most people across the Northeast probably asked after coming off such an incredibly warm February, especially in those last two weeks of the month. Heading into meteorological spring, it felt as if winter was indeed leaving us but never underestimate Old Man Winter because he came back with a vengeance.
Winter Rallies Back in March
As time in the 2016-2017 winter season went by, the snowless-ness continued across the Midwest courtesy of a January and February that finished with unprecedentedly meager numbers and mild temperatures. Ironically, the transitional month of March brought some winter back to the region, in some cases in record numbers. Old Man Winter’s frosty grip did not totally dominate the month as some of that warm influence of the previous two months would intervene at times. However, it proved to be a bumpy, and at times, chilly ride into the spring season.
Investigating Snow, Sleet, & Freezing Rain
As we begin to count the first days of spring and much of the Northeast continues to thaw from the “pi-day nor’easter”, we wanted to visit one of the most difficult parts of the storm for both forecasters and snow removal experts: Sleet. While the amount of sleet which occurred along the East Coast didn’t quite stack up to the 2+ feet of snow which buried parts of Northeast PA and Upstate New York, the changeover to sleet and freezing rain made this storm uniquely difficult for states along the Eastern Seaboard. But why?
Is Next Tuesday's Storm the One to Watch?
While the weekend storm now looks like a miss, that has implications on our next storm, focused around Tuesday of next week (March 14th). Because the prior storm will be further south, colder air will build in its place this weekend into the start of next week. That will lead into what also has the potential to be a big storm, and could mean significant snow for parts of the Northeast.
The Certified Snowfall Totals Difference
Today’s world tends to operate under the adage If You’re Not First, You’re Last. Here at WeatherWorks, we don’t appreciate that adage. Instead, one of our main mottos is Accuracy Above All Else. With that said, as the amount of accessible snowfall data on the internet increases, we are often asked why can we only assure our Certified Snowfall Totals 24-48 hours after an event, and not 24-hours or less?
January-February: Record Setting Warmth
The year 2016 finished with a cold and snowy flourish across the Midwest, a stark contrast to the lack of snow the last two Decembers. January, however, brought back the mild conditions we have become accustom to as of late. Not to be outdone, February followed with warmth falling into record territory. While occasional variability occurred with a few brief colder spells, above average temperatures simply dominated the landscape throughout the period.
DESPITE THE WARMTH, WINTER DID MAKE A FEW APPEARANCES
How Can It Freeze at 35 Degrees?
If you are a snow removal expert, you know to watch for refreeze after snowstorms and to do "ice checks" in the morning if temperatures fall to freezing or below. You are also aware to keep a close eye on areas near snow piles where melt water during the day can refreeze at night. BUT, what about when your truck is telling you it's 35°F and your seeing ice up...What gives? Last I checked water still freezes at 32°F!