United States April & Spring 2016 Outlook (Includes Video)

Written by on March 22, 2016 in United States of America, Winter 2015/16 with 0 Comments

Winter 2015-16 undoubtedly was dominated by this years record tying El Nino with such warmth during December, this essentially shaped the rest of the cold season. The warmth dwarfed any real cold and even the historic Northeast snowstorm in January and historic cold outbreak in February for many, is long forgotten about.

What’s been one of the most interesting aspects this past few months and a key driver has been the polar stratosphere. According to the well respected climatologist Judah Cohen, the polar vortex was record strong during December right around the time the El Nino peaked and the Northern Hemisphere was under an ocean of warm air.

However, since it’s record peaking in December, hence the lack of arctic air and dominating subtropical air within the mid latitudes, it weakened and as a consequence we saw cold and snow make an appearance during January with an epic snowstorm to end January and even though there was more record, even all-time record warmth to be had from the Rockies to East Coast, we did see an historic arctic outbreak during Valentines weekend. However, warmth has dominated.

The warming trend of the polar stratosphere appears to have peaked to a record weak state in early March. So, record strong to record weak, what does this mean exactly?

CREDIT: JUDAH COHEN (AER)

CREDIT: JUDAH COHEN (AER)

With the continued weakening of the El Nino, weak polar vortex and now split, there’s a shadow cast over spring in which we could have a cold April.

untitled

In particularly the past 2 weeks, we’ve seen significant energy transfer from stratosphere down to troposphere (something not really seen this winter) and there’s evidence that the polar vortex has split.

The below 0-7-10 day 50hpa temperature profile suggests plenty more winter yet to come.

CREDIT: NOAA

CREDIT: NOAA

CREDIT: NOAA

CREDIT: NOAA

CREDIT: NOAA

CREDIT: NOAA

The models are picking up on a ‘piece of the vortex’ descending south into the US early April.

As we head into the final week of March, the upper setup looks to deliver a very cold open to April according to not just the GFS ensemble 5-day means below but other global models too.

Note the positive heights building widely throughout the arctic with Alaska to Greenland bridging which could drive a piece of the split vortex south into the Central US.

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

Check this out at day 11-15

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

Canadian for April

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CFSv2 for April

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

With a still active Pacific and trans US storm track coupled with a warmer than normal Gulf of Mexico, one must be concerned about an active start to the severe weather season with warmer and more humid than normal air being lifting north from passing storm systems.

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

What About May?

I believe there’s a flip from cold April to warm May with a surge into summer as the polar stratosphere should strengthen, allowing the arctic air to retreat and warm air to build the subtropical ridge and lift it north out of Mexico and Caribbean.

CFSv2

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

Canadian

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

CREDIT: TROPICAL TIDBITS

In the coming weeks I shall be discussing more and more about the upcoming summer and what we can expect.

Official summer 2016 forecast will be released May 1.

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Jorge Pineda@JorgeAPinedaSr

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