Spring countdown: Will warmer temps last?

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (MEDIA GENERAL) – With just 16 days until spring, much of the country is counting down to warmer temperatures. Areas of the Midwest and Northeast will see 40 degrees soon. But, will it last? We spoke to meteorologists in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Michigan to get the answer.

Are we turning the corner toward better weather?

“Our winter weather pattern seems to finally be turning a corner,” meteorologist Nick Bannin at WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts told us. However, Bannin is cautious to get ahead of himself. Western New England has seen accumulating snow as late as the final week of May, he said.

“I am expecting the pattern to ease up a bit, but not completely!” Gil Simmons WTNH meteorologist in Connecticut told us. “I still think there will be some colder than average temperatures at the end of the month after a brief thaw.”

In Michigan, WOOD TV8 meteorologist Matt Kirkwood tends to agree. Despite a warm-up in the next week featuring temperatures in the 40’s, it appears colder air will return. “The end of March and beginning of April will likely feature colder than average temperatures,” Kirkwood said.

Records set

This past month was the coldest February in 180 years of record keeping in Western Massachusetts. Western Michigan is coming off its coldest February on record as well and fourth coldest winter month ever. There have been only 13 days this year that West Michigan has seen above freezing temperatures.

Bottom line

According to Nick Bannin in Massachusetts there is definitely some good news. “It seems the constant cold and weekly snow storm pattern has ended.”

As for Matt Kirkwood in Michigan, “At this stage of the game I do not see when we will consistently break into warmer temperatures and hold the pattern.”

Simmons in Connecticut joked when asked if the pattern will ever end. “I have been telling people June! Just kidding! The pattern still looks active and at times colder than normal at the end of the month,” he said.

What’s next?

Many of the meteorologists told us what happens next is key. There could be flooding problems. But, it all depends on what happens. “The existing snow has between one and eight inches of water equivalent,” Simmons told us about the situation in Connecticut. “This is a major flood concern if a rapid meltdown happens.”

“Ice has frozen across many of our largest rivers and a quick melt along with lots of rain could cause some ice jams in the rivers and create flooding concerns in the Spring. However, a gradual melt with lighter rainfall would provide lesser concerns for flooding,” Bannin said from Massachusetts.

In Michigan, the rivers are the same way. However, Kirkwood told us he doesn’t see heavy rain in the forecast right now which alleviates the chances for serious flooding.

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