This Week’s Forecast For Week Of March 15, 2015

Beware of the Ides of March they say. It is also the week of St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness starts. This week should be an exciting week. El Nino has been declared and it could persist for the rest of the year. Before about this week, let’s look at last week’s weather shall we.

20150316_500mb_GeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NH

Most areas were warm last week. The exception are Texas, Alaska, Central Mexico, Northeast Canada, Korea, Japan, North Central Russia, and Eastern Russia, which were cooler than normal. How does this come to be?

20150316_SurfaceTemperatureAnomaly_NH

When it is cooler, there is troughing. When it is warmer, there is ridging. Enough said about that. Troughing over Northeast Canada is negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and troughing over Alaska is negative East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). The ridging centered over Western US is positive Pacific/North American teleconnection pattern (PNA).

Last week was quite rainy. Here is a 7 day rainfall total from last week up to March 15, 2015.

20150315_7Day_Rainfall_Total

It was very wet in Southeast Texas and Louisiana. The heaviest rain in Southeast Texas is 8 inches, while 10 inches fell in the Mississippi River Delta. Most of Southeast Texas, Southeast Louisiana, and Southern Mississippi got most of the heavy rain last week. Not bad for March. It would be nice to see North Texas and Panhandle get more rain as they are still in a severe drought.

Here is a rainfall forecast model from last week.

20150309_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

It did not get Texas right, while it did handle the Central Gulf Coast okay. These forecast models are not high resolution, so they do not take smaller areas into account.

Rainfall will be the main concern this week as it was last week. Here is a rainfall forecast model til Sunday.

GFS
20150316_GFS_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

Canadian
20150316_GEM_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

Both forecast models have widespread and beneficial rains for Texas and Louisiana. GFS has up to 4 inches for Texas, while Canadian has up to 6 inches of rain in the next 7 days. I think some areas could see higher, like last week. I think some areas could see up to 10 inches of rain in Texas and Louisiana, like last week.

If we could see the future, we could look at the past. In this case, I will be using analog forecasts based on upper air patterns going back to 1950. Let’s start with 6 to 10 forecast.

20150316_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

3/30/1994-A cold blast hits east of the Rocky Mountains in the last week of March 1994.
3/26/1990-Heavy rain hits Houston area between 3/28-30. Three day totals are Bush Intercontinental: 3.61″; Hobby: 2.78″; Galveston: 1.33″.
4/9/2004-Heavy rain falls on 4/10-11 in Southeast Texas. Bush Intercontinental: 3.27″; Hobby: 1.31″; College Station: 0.89″. 2.57″ falls at Intercontinental on 4/10, highest rainfall total for that date.
3/13/1998-Severe weather hits Texas betweem 3/15-19. They range from heavy rain, strong wind, hail, and lightning. It mainly hits North Texas and West Texas. There is snow reported in the Texas Panhandle on 3/19.
4/9/1969-Rain falls 4/11-13 in Houston area. Both Houston WB and Hobby record 2.36″.
4/4/2007-A cold blast hits Texas on Easter Weekend. Snow and sleeted is reported north of Houston. Many areas see near record lows during the cold blast including Houston, which saw 38°F on 4/7 and 37°F on 4/8.
3/11/1987-Cold blast hits Southern and Eastern US between 3/9-15.
4/6/1977-16 tornadoes reported in West Texas and Panhandle between 4/19-20. Hail is also reported during the severe weather outbreak in Texas.

Some of the analog dates really stand out, especially when it comes to cold blasts and severe weather. If we use 6 to 10 day analog forecast, this suggests it could be a rainy one with a chance of severe weather mixed in. Anyways, let’s look at the 8 to 14 day analog forecast. Deja vu, it is wrongly labeled as 6 to 10 day forecast as it centers around day 8. Do not worry, this is a 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150316_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

3/31/1994-A cold blast hits east of the Rocky Mountains in the last week of March 1994.
3/25/1990-Heavy rain hits Houston area between 3/28-30. Three day totals are Bush Intercontinental: 3.61″; Hobby: 2.78″; Galveston: 1.33″. Interesting to note on that date, America’s deadliest mass murder occurred on this day at the Happyland Club Fire. A man angry over a break up with his girlfriend set fire to the club in The Bronx borough of New York. The fire claimed 87 lives. It was the deadliest mass murder prior to Oklahoma City Bombing and 9/11.
3/11 & 3/16/1998-Severe weather hits Texas betweem 3/15-19. They range from heavy rain, strong wind, hail, and lightning. It mainly hits North Texas and West Texas. There is snow reported in the Texas Panhandle on 3/19.
3/9/1994-A cold front comes on 3/9 and thunderstorms form ahead. Bush Intercontinental: 1.18″; Hobby: 1.20″; Galveston: 1.26″; Second wettest 3/9 for Bush and Galveston. The cold front brings a light freeze.
3/9/1996-A cold front comes on 3/7/1996. It causes a light freeze for Houston area.

The 8 to 14 day analog forecast has some rather interesting weather. They are either cold blasts to severe weather outbreaks. I think this week is more likely a rain event if any. I do not think temperature will be much of a factor here. This will be another wet week as it was last week thanks to El Nino and strong Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO).

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