LONG RANGE FORECAST THROUGH THE END OF MARCH - 3/18/2020
Be sure to see the 3 month forecast down below
The first day of Seasonal or Astronomical Spring is tomorrow the 19th. However, we have been seeing very springlike conditions already. Meteorological spring started on the 1st of this month. And we have been seeing ample evidence as to why the meteorological seasons were created in the first place.
Typically in March, temps are in the 50s and 60s at the beginning of the month west of the Cascades, but rise to the 60s and the low 70s by the end of the month. The all time record for March in Medford is 86 which happened in 1930. East of the Cascades temps are in the 40s to the 50s at the beginning of the month and 50s to the 60s at the end of the month. Average rainfall for Medford in March is 1.61 inches. West of the Cascades in the valleys typical rainfall is around 2 inches. The Coast can see 3 - 5 inches of rain, and the mountains can usually get 2 - 4 feet of snow. East of the Cascades average rainfall can vary but it is typically under a half inch of rain...or snow equivalent.
As we look at the time period through the end of March, we are going to be seeing BIG shifts away from what would be normal. As you will see in the images below, we are going to see much colder than average temps, and wetter than average conditions expected. If you look further down the page at the extended seasonal forecasts, you could see this was going to be coming. Look at the information for April especially. With that forecast now absolutely verifying, the switch to what we are going to see in the second half of March is no surprise. Many will say we had a false spring happen. Not correct. What we have been seeing with the dry sunny days and warm temps is not too uncommon for our part of the world. And, spring is a time of transition. We can have very winter like weather in spring, especially early spring as we are in now. Frankly, for as dry as our "rainy season" was this year, we need every bit of rain and snow we can get now. I see this as a reason to be happy rather than a reason to be disappointed. Looking at all the current information that is out, we are going to be seeing temps running a good 10 to 20 degrees below normal for late March. And, we are looking very likely to see precipitation totals we would normally see for the entire month coming at us over the next two weeks to end the month. And yes, this is indeed looking like it will continue in April.
3 MONTH FORECAST THROUGH APRIL - Updated 2/23/20202
When we were coming in to the winter season, i put up the long range forecasts from various sources. And for the longest time it looked like we had a miss for all of them except Accuweather. We were well below normal as hit 2020. And then, we got the hammer of the storms from the 3rd of January throught the 17th. And that brought some of the forecasts back on line to prediction. At least for a time. As we have seen it play out...Accuweather was the big winner for the prediction for the Winter. NOAA with warm and dry would be as well. The big losers were the Almanacs. And that has not happened for quite awhile. In fact, last winter it was the New Farmer's Almanac that won the winter prediction battle. So let's begin by refreshing your memory about the long range forecasts for the winter.
Old Famers Alamanc:
The state of Oregon also does offer long range prediction. There are two phases by the way. Precipitation, and Temperature. The State of Oregon does not release more than a 3 month outlook. So here is what they had for October through December.
So we have looked back to what was predicted. Only one of those sources does a mid season revised forecast. And that is due to the fact they only do 3 month at a time forecasts. And that is Oregon Department of Forestry meteorologist Pete Parsons. Below is what he is forecasting for February through April.
It was what he had to say about April that caught my attention. And then I saw he did an April specific forecast. You can see that below.
Now why would April matter so much to the Oregon Department of Forestry meteorologist? Same reason it should matter to all of us. If April is going to be warm and dry, that sets things up for an early start to fire season and also increases the odds of a bad one. But, a wet and cool April is a great thing to see. And that is exactly what Pete has forecast. If this goes as he is showing it, the odds of a really bad fire season get significantly decreased. If May turns out to be cooler and wetter, then we are well set up for another summer of no smoke. Having very wet thunderstorms like last summer would also be another great aid to no smoke. So right now, this is looking good. Would like to see more moisture for Jackson and Josephine Counties in that forecast.....but that cooler than normal forecast is great.