3/11/15: Cooling Down

High temperatures yesterday across the NDAWN stations included two 61° highs in Bowman and Hettinger.  Highs in the 40s were common in locations where there is still a snow cover.  That snow cover will continue to melt away with temperatures expected to be well above average through the weekend with some subtle day to day fluctuations.

High temperatures on March 10, 2015
High temperatures on March 10, 2015

The upper level wind flow is split into two streams with the northern branch in a fairly zonal (west to east) flow and also in southern Canada which is allow the mild conditions currently found throughout much of the central part of the United States.

300 mb Wind Speed and Heights for 1 AM CDT March 11, 2015
300 mb Wind Speed and Heights for 1 AM CDT March 11, 2015

 

This pattern will trend to the pattern that has been with us much of the winter with the flow becoming more northwesterly across the upper Midwest and the northern plains.  Yet, without a snow pack and not a significant mass of cold air heading toward North Dakota, the temperatures next week will likely only drop to near seasonal norms, or maybe even slightly above.  So definitely cooler but not all that cold for the time of year.

Projected 300 mb wind speed and heights for Wednesday March 18 at 7:00 PM
Projected 300 mb wind speed and heights for Wednesday March 18 at 7:00 PM

This change will occur Sunday night when a cold front will move across the region.  There is limited moisture along the front, but at least some scattered light rain showers will likely occur as the front moves through any one given area.

Projected Surface Features at midnight Sunday evening.
Projected Surface Features at midnight Sunday evening.

 

Before the front arrives on Sunday, that day may end up being the warmest of the week.  At the moment Thursday and Sunday looks to be the warmest of the next 5, yet all days will be exceptionally mild for mid March.  Enjoy the warmth.  Back to “March” next week.

 

Daryl Ritchison