Parade of storms continues nationwide in early March
Friday March 01, 2019
Before we can take a breath, relax and look back an incredible February of weather extremes, March is about to roar like a lion. What is called an Omega ( looks like Greek letter Omega ) Block has been a semi-permanent feature in the Eastern Pacific for weeks now. I have made the attempt to use blue arrows to show path of cold arctic air and red for the tropical moisture, sometimes called The Pineapple express. The ridge which makes up the Blocking pattern is not only bring above normal temperatures to Alaska, but notice it also directs air from the Arctic southward toward the United States including the Pacific Northwest.
Below is the 500mb chart from very early on Friday March 1, 2019
GOES 17 or GOES west IR imaging for midday Friday March 1st shows the next storm lurking west of California. After impressing central and southern California, this storm will cross the country during the first weekend in the month of March bring a variety of adverse weather pretty much from coast to coast. Another shot of impressive Arctic air will plunge into the central and eastern US following the storm. Early March will look and feel a lot like much of February did for across the nation.
Below I offer one example of what this weather pattern has meant to one of our National Parks. At 6000 feet in the Southern Cascades of Oregon, the south entrance to Crater Lake, the webcam pictures tell quite a story. First, this year, then last March, and finally the El Niño season of 2016.
The observation from the Anne Springs Entrance shows a snow depth of 129 inches on Friday March 1st. Up at the rim of the crater the report is 140 inches of snow on the ground.
Last year on March 1st, 2018, notice the fallen tree at an angle and compare to picture above.
And finally same view on March 01, 2016, this was the winter of the strong 2015-2016 El Niño. So this year’s short, weak El Niño has out performed the stronger record event in terms of snow pack at least at this location at this point in the season.
You can learn more in my e-book El Niño: The WILD side of the weather cycle…
What we know, what we don’t, and WHY you should care!
The book was written for the record 2015-2016 event, but much of the material is also relevant for this year’s much weaker event.
We will review some of this winter’s extreme weather in the coming days. We saw record February snow in several locations, including a brief surprise accumulation in Las Vegas, Nevada. We saw historic rain and flooding across parts of the south and in California. We have also experienced a record cold polar vortex.
So in brief, it has been stormy, it is stormy, and it will continue to be stormy, until the season changes, the arctic air stays in the arctic, and the affect of this current El Niño begins to fade.
If you like the blog you will love the book.