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February 16, 2011 / Dave Gorham

Tired of the Cold? Are Warmer Days Ahead?

Who isn’t tired of the cold weather because I certainly am! The spring and fall are without a doubt my favorite two seasons and I’m beginning to think that spring can’t get here fast enough (even though this week has been pleasant in Houston). It’s always difficult to know how to dress this time of year because one day it could be in the 30’s and then a few days later in the 70’s. That’s exactly what happened here last week! A week ago from today we had highs in the 30’s with a hard freeze here in the Houston area and then by Sunday temperatures warmed up into the low 70’s and I was wearing short sleeve shirts again. Now that’s one extreme to another.

This photo was taken earlier in the month (on February 2nd) when Arctic air surged southward and brought freezing temperatures to the Houston area. This frozen fountain is located in Houston near Shepherd and West Dallas. Photo: Houston Chronicle

When is this crazy weather we’ve been having coming to an end? That’s actually a really good question and something I’m sure a lot of you would like to know. As most of you are aware, at least those of you who are avid YourWeatherBlog followers and/or weather enthusiasts, we’ve been under a strong La Niña pattern this winter. There’s indication that it will slowly weaken as we move through the rest of February into March as milder water over the eastern Tropical Pacific moves westward. Farther east the North Atlantic Oscillation has recovered back to more normal levels and we expect this trend to continue into March which should allow for milder Pacific air over the Lower 48, especially over the southern half of the U.S.

Long range data combined with current climate trends favor a zonal flow pattern with below average temperatures expected across the far north and above to near normal temperatures across the southern part of the country. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

By the looks of it, it does appear warmer days are ahead for most of us (or at least temperatures will be about average) and hopefully the worst weather is behind us. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have a little over a month before spring begins and even then, winter storms aren’t uncommon in April. Matter of fact, last year a major winter storm hit North Dakota between April 1-3 and on April 21st President Obama declared a major disaster in the state of North Dakota. This just goes to show you a date can’t always be set for when winter will actually come to an end.

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