Thursday started quite chilly with temperatures in the 20s but still in the average range or even a little above average for this time of year. Now that we are in the second week of February and closer to spring, we can continue to look at how the winter has been so far using cold and snow as our benchmarks.
The accumulated winter season severity index or AWSSI shows that we have had a mild winter across the region. Now you probably don’t need some index to tell you it’s been a mild winter, but this is a statistical way to measure what we are observing. It’s based on the amount of snow and the persistence of the snow on the ground as well as the cold. We’ve had very little of all of these, and as a result we’re at the high end of the scale.
In keeping with this trend, we’re going to have quite a mild weekend ahead. Temperatures are going to be in the 40s the next couple of days and will likely climb into the 50s on Saturday. The record for Saturday is 60 degrees, which was set just last year.
Although not impossible, I think it is unlikely we reach that level. Clouds and even some showers late in the day are more likely to keep readings somewhere in the 50s.
Monthly records for February show even warmer days, with three years where it reached 70 degrees or higher.
There are also many years in the mid and upper 60s, so although this is going to be an above-average temperature weekend, it’s not going to get close to any of those records.
With the nice weather, you can get outside and begin to do some yard work. There’s probably some branches and other things that might have fallen in the storms we had during December and January and those can be cleaned up. It’s not a good idea to walk around a wet yard too much as you can compact the soil. However, things like boxwood and leucothoe can be pruned this time of year.
Also, you’re probably going to notice bulbs coming up as well. This is not a big deal. It happens most years and there’s always pictures that people are posting on social media wondering if they’re going to be OK. The answer is yes, the plant cells of bulbs are built to withstand a freeze-thaw cycle and even if they get slightly damaged at the tips, the blooms will be fine.
More snow on the way?
Once the weekend is over, temperatures will start dropping into a more winter-like range. And if you’ve already heard about a Tuesday storm developing, there are still discrepancies between the different models. We could see everything from a little bit of rain or snow to a full-fledged snowstorm.
Things will become clearer in the coming days. The European model is the most aggressive and is showing a more significant snow event if that materialized. The GFS is the least aggressive and is displaying basically just some clouds and a few flurries.
The European or ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Model:
The GFS (Global Forecast System) model:
The GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model: