With the exceptions of a significant cold spell during early/mid December, it’s been a warm winter from Alaska to Florida. The only exception being the Northwest where both December and January were cold or very cold.
Really from the Rockies to Atlantic Ocean, the anomaly maps are solid red and may well have witnessed the warmest winter on record or certainly the warmest January-February period on record.
Here was January!
Similar to 2011-12, the stratospheric warming which did occur, benefited Europe, not so much North America and that’s despite a promising start to December as the strat warming initially didn’t favour the US but Europe finally flipped with a piece of the polar vortex diving into the Plains.
Since the mid December cold, we’ve seen a back and fourth pattern of warm and seasonably cold but the warm has by far outweighed the cold with countless all-time February record falling. What can we take from winter 2016-17? As well as the record warmth, we’re not going to forget the incredible drought erasing rains thanks to a pineapple express pattern…
This has made for a great Sierra snowpack.
So what can be expect in March. You’ll be well aware of the fickle nature of meteorological spring’s opening month. We can go straight into summer or retreat back to full blown January!
The good news for cold weather fans, we have a 3rd and final stratospheric warming event underway and this ‘may’ bring at least a spell of winter again for the Central, Midwest and East.
The CFSv2 weeklies appear on board with return of the Eastern trough solution. Whether the model is seeing the response from the strat warming, who knows.
CFSv2 says bye bye to the storms for California.