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Friday, March 25, 2022

Don't Be Fooled by Recent Warmth and Sun:
Cold, blustery first weekend of spring; Lows: Sunday 13, Monday 14, snow

Don’t move the winter jacket to the back of the closet just yet.

The polar vortex is on the move and is expected to bring much colder air—and accumulating snow in some areas—this weekend.

Most areas are likely to see less than a quarter-inch of snow from Friday night through Saturday night, but moderate snow accumulations are possible across higher terrain east of Lake Erie Saturday night through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

While a winter’s revenge is not expected, temperatures will become progressively colder through the weekend. By Sunday high temperatures are only expected to reach the upper 20s to 30 degrees and be accompanied by conditions described as “blustery” in Weather Service forecasts for the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties). Those conditions will combine to bring even colder wind chills.

Sunday night, the Weather Service said in a forecast discussion, “should be one of the coldest nights of this period” with lows in the teens by Monday morning.

Temperatures will remain well below normal Monday before a slow warming trend arrives midweek, the Weather Service said.

Courtesy of Silver Lake Marine Weather Station
More of Ben Beagle's weather story by clicking on:

The change comes following a consistent stretch of warmth since the first day of spring that had temperatures in the 50s and even upper 60s across the four-county GLOW region. Those temperatures included a record 71 degrees in Mount Morris on March 20, the first day of spring.

Temperatures have been above average since March 15, and approached or surpassed 60 degrees across the GLOW region on Thursday.

That is about to change as cold air from northern Canada moves into the northeast this weekend as the polar vortex weakens and splits, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

When the polar vortex is in a strong phase, it tends to hover near the North Pole, keeping the coldest air locked up near the Arctic Circle. But when the polar vortex weakens, there is often a southward discharge of much colder air in part of the United States, according to AccuWeather.

Pastelok said that the polar vortex will direct frequent waves of chilly air into the region during the remainder of March and early April. Snow may even occur on more than one occasion amid colder weather.

Temperatures had climbed above average from March 14 to 21, making it the longest string of days with above-normal warmth over the past three months in the Northeast, according to AccuWeather.

In the GLOW region, most communities have seen temperatures above average—sometimes more than 20 degrees above normal—since March 15, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Normal highs for the period are 30 to 35 degrees in the GLOW region, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Several areas saw record high temperatures during the recent warm stretch. Among them:

■ Albion, 69 degrees on March 17.
■ Avon, 71 degrees on March 15.
■ Dansville, 73 degrees on March 18 and 19.
■ Hemlock, 69 degrees on March 17 and 18.
■ Mount Morris, 71 degrees on March 18 and 20.
■ Warsaw, 68 degrees on March 19.
■ Wyoming, 68 degrees on March 19.

Much of winter featured wild swings in temperatures every few days, according to AccuWeather, and the last stretch of warmth as lengthy as the recent one occurred ahead of the official start of winter.

AccuWeather forecasters say the upcoming pattern will usher in more notable temperature fluctuations, with the possibility that chilly days will outnumber mild days into the beginning of April.

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