February climate outlook - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

February climate outlook

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Punxsutawney Phil and Holland Huckleberry finally agree... and no shocker: they both listened to our forecast of more cold and snow.  

Long range forecasts rely on climatology and large patterns but they're also notorious.  Any forecast of more than eight days out needs to be taken with a healthy pinch of salt because most storms have not formed that far out.  

Still, a branch of the National Weather Service called the Climate Prediction Center seeks to do just that; using past year's data and things like La Nina, they come up with general trends to watch for.  A large upper level trough based over the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay for much of the winter has allowed cold Arctic winds to cycle through.  It looks like this pattern will hold for the first half of the month.  That will lead to cold winds traveling over a dense snowpack before reaching Ohio.

Right now the worst of the extra cold will be over the Driftless Region of Wisconsin and Minnesota.  That word describes our winter to-a-T: driftless.

More snowfall would complicate things.  With four inches or more of snow on the ground, temperatures can dive an extra eight degrees or more on clear nights.  The heaviest bonus moisture should set up over the Ohio River Valley, largely from three big storms this week.

 

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