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Submitted by Tim Buckley on Mon, 03/28/2011 - 8:51am.
"March is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get." Yes, March can be a fickle month when it comes to the weather. We often refer to it as a "transition" month, meaning we're going from cold weather to warm weather. Often times, it can be quite volatile - with heavy weather, or huge temperature swings. Not hard to see here!
Last week, temperatures soared as the Jet Stream was well north of us. Our highs topped out in the mid and upper 80's. Now, we're lucky to even reach the mid 40's, with a cold rain and frost concerns. But if you look at the historical data - you can see that this isn't even too far fetched when it comes to the third month of the year.
Here's the Alamanac from Sunday, the 27th. Obviously we were below normal - but look at the records category. You can see our record high for the date is in the mid 80's, and our record low is in the mid 20's. That's about a 60 degree spread in temperature. Pretty wild! (As a side note, we will likely set the record for the coldest high temperature ever on March 28th. Forecast is 44, record is 49.)
This is fairly common when you look at the month as a whole, with record highs in the 80's and 90's and record lows in the 10's and 20's. That's because during the month of March, winter is still trying to hang on, and summer is trying to get an early start. Depending on where you are in the country - you can usually find some really warm or really cold air at the same time. The key to all of this - as always - is the Jet Stream.
Like we already said above, the Jet Stream was WAY far north of us last week, just kind of opening the flood gates of warm weather into the Southeast. Now it's meandered off just south of us - keeping us on the very very cold side of things. Not only that, but since it's lying directly overhead, we're going to find many storms plowing into us over the next several days.
The Jet Stream is one of the main steering mechanisms for low pressure systems across the country, and boy will we have our share before the end of the week. No fewer than three storms will head our way, meaning 4 out of 5 weekdays will be wet.
Thankfully we get a break this weekend and next week as the weather will trend drier and warmer. Just in time for the Azalea Festival!
Stay warm out there... and think spring!
By: Tim Buckley