Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Weird February so far - active pattern returns soon

This month of February is not turning out the way I thought it would. Despite our daily study of hundreds of weather maps, there are times where the long range pattern turns out a little different than what we expect. In this case, the difference is a big change in temperatures. And it's a change for the warmer. I still think we have more cold weather coming, but as we close in on the end of February and early March, any cold snap will likely be fairly brief. So don't give up on winter yet; there are still signs of some colder weather coming.

Check this out. Look how many days already this month, have been at or above 60 degrees: 
Dodge City: 6 days 
Wichita: 5 days 
Goodland: 7 days
Salina: 3 days

Last year, Wichita had the 7th warmest February and if this warm pattern continues (which it looks like it will for awhile), we could be close to the top 5. Salina had the 6th warmest February in 2016.

Record Watch Thursday:
Here are the records to watch tomorrow:

Why so warm?
The jet stream has retreated north and the warm air gets a chance to expand and cover a wide area of real estate. Anytime we see this pattern, you can expect mild/warm weather.

Weekend storm:

There will be a storm coming into the Plains this weekend, but once again, forget about snow. The jet stream winds (roughly at 35-40,000 feet) splits right off the west coast. So cold air stays north and we continue with mild temperatures. It won't ever be cold enough with the next storm to bring a chance for snow to our area. 

There could be another storm nearby later next week too. Early indications point toward the storm staying just north of Kansas, but it's a long way off. I have looked at some data that would suggest some colder air pushing back toward Kansas around the end of the month, but if it does, it's not likely going to last very long. 

Oroville, CA about to get hit with heavy rains:

If you've been following the national news regarding the Oroville,CA situation, you know that they don't need rain right now as they try and deal with the major hole in the spillway. Heavier rains will likely move through there Wednesday night and Thursday. So hopefully they will be able to handle the extra rains without a catastrophe downstream. 

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