Signs of Spring on the Horizon?

2015-03-04 20:45:35.000 – Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist

 

After a very cold and snowy February across New England, we may be seeing signs of changes ahead for the month of March. After a chilly next few days with arctic air locked over the region as it has been for much of the winter, temperatures look to be in the 30s and even lower 40s by the end of the weekend across all of New Hampshire. What’s responsible for this expected warm up? The main driving force is a major change in the jet stream. The jet stream is a narrow current of strong winds existing roughly around 30,000 feet above the earth that circles the planet and serves as a focus for most of the weather we see in our part of the world.

For much of this past winter, the jet stream has been riding north all the way up into Alaska before diving south to the east of the Rocky Mountains and back up again along the east coast. Storm systems for our area often developed or strengthened just offshore, dumping heavy snow over New England. This is a somewhat typical pattern for winter in North America, although this winter the pattern was especially stubborn, with very little changes to allow any warmer air to work its way into the Northeast.

Looking ahead, the jet stream will be flattening out over the Northeast U.S. by this weekend, keeping the arctic air bottled up to our north in Canada and allowing for more seasonable temperatures for New Hampshire. While this may only be a fleeting warm up, it is a sign that spring is just around the corner, much to the joy of many of the snow-weary residents of New England!

 

Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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