For once, conventional wisdom was spot-on: March weather started with a roar. Winter storm Titan barreled across the country on March 1-2, dropping snow, cancelling flights, slicking roadways and leaving behind subzero temperatures in its wake. It was the 20th named storm of the winter. (For those keeping track, 27 storms last winter were strong enough to warrant a name.)
What’s expected to follow is cooler-than-normal temperatures for the eastern two-thirds of the country, according to The Weather Channel storm specialist Greg Postel.
"It’s essentially an extension of what we’ve seen so much this winter, the warm in the west and the cold in the east," he says.
Heightened thunderstorm activity in the South Pacific is actually the driving force behind these weather patterns, Postel explains.
"You can think of this area of enhanced thunderstorm activity as a bubble of heat, sending out kind of a wave train, like throwing a rock in a stream," he says. "And this area of thunderstorm activity has been relatively immobile this winter, so it’s set this pattern over North America."
Because the area of South Pacific thunderstorms don’t show a lot of signs of moving, Postel says the spring 2014 forecast will mimic what is expected for march – cooler weather in the east, warmer weather in the west.
"March is really loading us up to a cold start to spring," he says.