After a colder than normal winter across much of the Midwest and Great Lakes, it appears that the colder than normal temperatures might linger into part of March.
Some of the climate indices point to additional chunks’ of cold air making their way out of Canada and into the Midwest and Great Lakes in March. Based on this, slightly below normal temperatures are forecast for these regions, with total heating degree-day surpluses of between 30 and 60 during the month. Heating costs likely will remain higher than average throughout these areas.
Meanwhile, slightly warmer than normal temperatures are predicted from West Texas back to Southern California and possibly across parts of the eastern Gulf Coast and Florida. Late-season heating degree-day deficits of between 20 and 60 are projected across these regions in March.
As far as the ENSO phase goes, it remains neutral, and the latest long-range climate models continue to suggest that this current neutral phase will persist at least into the upcoming summer months. At that time, there are some indications that an El Nino might begin developing, but this will have to be monitored in the months to come.