Get ready for cooler air to put spring on pause

Weather Blog
Source: Climate Prediction Center, 6-10 day temperature outlook, May 8-May 12

(WROC-TV, Rochester, NY)- If you are a fan of really warm weather, do NOT by any means file this article under the heading of “Monday motivation”. Instead, consider it as a “heads up” as you make all of those spring outdoor plans. Or, alternatively, seize the moment to enjoy the “relative warmth” that peaks on Tuesday, as that warmth becomes all but just a memory heading into the weekend.

The pattern that lies ahead is one that stands out to this meteorologist as a cool one. And it could last for a while.

The animated graphic at the top represents the Climate Prediction Center’s six to ten day temperature outlook. Note the abundance of blue which indicates a strong likelihood of below normal temperatures within that time frame. In fact, much of the nation, minus the southern Plains, Texas, and a portion of the South, will be somewhat cooler than normal through at least early next week, with the greatest probability for cooler than normal weather taking place here in our part of the Northeast and in a portion of the Intermountain West.

Think of it as an early to mid -April replay making our way into the second week of May. Typically, temperatures top out in the lower or middle 60s during this time of the year in Rochester. Instead, we’re projecting highs not much beyond the 50 degree mark for some by week’s end.

Some highly reliable model projections even suggest that the thermometer flirts with the freezing mark for a low temperature as we head into Mother’s Day weekend!

And while I hesitate to include mentioning this, there are even some signs on this afternoon’s medium range operational models of a few wet snow flakes attempting to mix with some of the rain showers that are projected for Friday morning.

You may recall a blog written by me a month back about the importance of not putting those sensitive plants into the ground early. This pattern illustrates nicely just why those with expertise in gardening and farming in Western New York and the Finger Lakes typically hold off on those plantings until, in some cases, Memorial Day.

Bottom line: If you live away from the lakes, consider bringing any newly potted plants inside this weekend or make sure they are covered!

Source: 500 millibar height pattern for May 7th

Above you’ll note the upper air pattern for the end of the week into the weekend. The trough (dip in the jet stream) in the eastern half of Canada, represented by the shades of green and blue, is a potent one, carrying a sizable pool of cool air. Models suggest that this trough tries to lift northward at times but does not entirely vacate the premises until, potentially, closer to the end of the third week of May. That’s when the ridge in the pattern, noted by the brighter orange tones over the middle of the nation, should start the process of building further to the north and east.

Looking for an exercise in patience? This pattern should do the trick!

There is SOME good news on the pattern in that it doesn’t appear to be an excessively wet one. The Climate Prediction Center depicts most of the Northeast dealing with near normal amounts of precipitation over the next 6 to 10 days. Those in agriculture and horticulture should find that part of the outlook to be, at least, of some comfort.

Consider this other level of good news. It’s lilac time here in Rochester, and the blooms are already starting to really put on a nice show. The combination of a little misty rain, in conjunction with a stretch of below average temperatures, should preserve the fine display of these flowers for a while. This variety of lilac outside of my residence in downtown Rochester is already nearing peak. Other varieties take longer to reach peak. Either way, the pattern would extend the life span of some of Rochester’s most famous flowers safely through our famed Lilac Festival.

Bottom line: Embrace the cooler air and remember that it can have its positive aspects!

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