Spring … shivers?
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On an afternoon on which the temperature cracked 60 for the first time and it felt a whole lot like last Christmas, when it went up to 65, we were reassured that the spring equinox will arrive on schedule a week from Friday.
However, the computer models are suggesting equinox will coincide with a return to winter, or at least the pattern that has dominated the last several weeks.
In its 8- to 14-day outlook posted Wednesday afternoon, the government's Climate Prediction Center once again has the East in deep blue – as in below-normal temperatures expected -- and Alaska in the red.
The climate center's discussion reads more like a refrain: A ridge, or area of higher pressure, is forecast to set up in northwestern Canada, favoring dryness and warmth out West, and a trough over the East, favoring cold.
This has been a leitmotif, and as we've noted, the record cold in the East in February coincided with record warmth in the West.
Typically, those temperature opposites would seesaw, but for much of 2015, one end of that seesaw has been a whole lot heavier than the other.
One very noticeable effect of the imbalance can be found in Alaska, where a lack of snow along the traditional Iditarod route has displaced the course well to the north.
The February temperature in Anchorage came within a degree of Philadelphia's. Officially, Philadelphia has had more snow this season, 23.3 inches, than Anchorage, 20.7 – 43.1 inches below normal.