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Queens Chronicle


After a long, cold winter, forecast calls for average to warmer future

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:30 am

The groundhog was right.

When Staten Island Chuck leaped from Mayor de Blasio’s arms two months ago, he saw his shadow and called for a longer winter.

It lasted six more weeks — and then some.

This winter has been a snowy one. Though it hasn’t been much colder than average, it sure felt like it was never ending. Below freezing conditions lasted regularly through March 27, and although it is not uncommon to see bitter cold and snow in early April, because the winter has been cold and snowy since early December with little reprieve, it felt even worse than it was.

That’s because a trough in the upper atmosphere kept arctic air locked over the Eastern United States much later than usual — through the end of March. That left people wondering whether or not spring would ever arrive.

Well it has and it will, WILL, get warmer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s prediction calls for an equal chance of colder than normal and warmer than normal temperatures this spring. The possibility for warmer weather is greater as we get into late May and June, especially along the coast. That means while April could still be cool, the warmer weather will be more likely than not to kick in as we get later in the spring and could be warmer than usual.

The Great Lakes and Northern Plains, which have suffered through an even more brutal winter than we have, are more likely to see below average temperatures throughout the spring. That’s mainly due to the frozen Great Lakes and the winter’s cold causing the ground to freeze unusually deep, which means it will take longer for both water and soil to thaw.

The West Coast and Alaska, which have experienced a much warmer winter than usual and suffered from lack of rain, will continue to be dry and warm for the foreseeable future.

If you want warmer weather, you may be excited to know NOAA is predicting a hot summer along the coast and a warmer winter next year throughout the country, including the Northeast, as El Ni–o kicks in.

Meanwhile, the Farmers Almanac seems to be in agreement with NOAA on most accounts. Its long-range forecast for the Alantic Corridor, which runs from Virgina to Boston, says:

“April and May will be drier and much warmer than normal.”

As for its forecast for the rest of the year beyond the spring:

“Summer will be hotter and rainier than normal, with the hottest periods in early June, early to mid-July, and early to mid-August. September and October will be warmer and drier than normal, with a hurricane threat in early to mid-September.”

Let’s just forget we read the latter half of that last sentence, shall we?

Welcome to the discussion.