Monday, March 30, 2015

March Goes Out Like A Furnace

The last two days of March look to be warm and toasty by climatological standards as we get the warm southerlies ahead of a cold front that is expected to push into northern Utah late Tuesday.

NAM 850-mb wind, temperature, and 3-h precipitation forecast valid 6 PM MDT 31 March.
Yesterday's high at the Salt Lake City airport was 66ºF.  We'll tack some more onto that today with a high of about 74ºF.  Unless the front comes in faster than currently suggested by the models, it looks like a max in the high 70s tomorrow.  I give 80 a 20% chance (The NWS is going for the big 80).  The records are 77 and 80 for today and tomorrow, respectively.

The warmth, however, will give us a shot for the warmest March on record.  So far, we've averaged 49ºF, tied with 2012 and 2014, and just behind 1992 (49.2), 1934 (49.2), 1910 (49.6), and 1879 (49.2).   
Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
Can we top 1910?  Assuming a low last night of 40, a high today of 74, a low tonight of 49, and a high tomorrow of 78, we'd have a monthly average temp of 49.7—just enough to top 1910 by 0.1ºF.  It's gonna be close.  

In case you are wondering, the all-time Dec-Mar record for the airport is safely in the bag.  We are currently ahead of 1978 and 1934 and will add to that lead today and tomorrow. 

If you are tired of the heat, Wed–Fri looks much cooler, although a big mountain snowstorm looks unlikely.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reference to Cliff Mass, Jim. Been having a blast chasing down the EOF literature. If you haven't seen it, Dennis Hartmann has a nice piece on the "north pacific mode" (NPM) at

    Doesn't seem like constructing EOFs from SST data is your thing. But maybe you can hypothesize a bit, Hartmann's plot of the NPM anomolies, especially compared to the ENSO anomolies, is striking. By eye, when NPM anomolies are negative, it's deep and cold in the Wasatch. When NPM is positive, its shallow and warm. Do you think Hartman's analysis allows us to conclude the NPM is a strong signal for snowfall in the Wasatch?