Troughing and Ridging: Spring in the West, Winter in the East

The lovely, spring-like warmth that has persisted over most of the eastern US will, unfortunately, take a weekend hiatus before returning in full force later next week.


Out west, anomalous ridging is occurring as high pressure builds in. Under this dome of warmth, temperatures will soar up to 20 degrees above average, especially over the northern tier. Locations in the Dakotas and Montana could be looking at shattering record highs this weekend.


But what goes up must come down. The strong ridge in the west allows a trough to dig in deep over the east, giving cold air a path southward. The chilly air will be aided in it’s journey south by a decently deep low that will just sit and spin over northeastern Quebec today into early Sunday.


By the latter half of the weekend, we can expect widespread temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees below average, with the coldest air, of course, being in the northeast, closer to the low. Though this air will modify some as it moves south, not even Florida will escape some chillier-than-average temperatures. This will be felt most in the morning lows as clear skies overnight allow for radiational cooling. Morning temperatures in the high 30s/low 40s look possible as far south as the northern FL peninsula. It will remain mostly sunny over a large portion of the east, though, due to the absence of any real weather-making systems.

The cold won’t last much beyond early next week. Monday will be a transition day of sorts as the low finally begins to slide east and the high pressure that is confined to the west is allowed to build in. The high will eventually set up off the coast and serve to funnel warm air into the east. Consequently, we are looking at much warmer weather for mid-next week. As the southerly flow returns under the building ridge, the atmosphere will be primed for severe weather, which is a possibility that has been showing up in the mid to long range, though its far too early to do anything other than note the trends. Should a legitimate threat materialize, we will undoubtedly be talking about it here.

For now, enjoy the sun where you can and know that warmer days will be back soon!