If you don’t like the weather, just wait
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2015
“If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes,” is a proverb that you are likely to hear in almost every region of the United States. Mark Twain is usually credited with this quip. He apparently used it to describe New England’s ever changing weather, but it applies equally well to much of the country, especially in winter and spring.
Some notable exceptions to the rule are in south Florida, southern California, and southern Arizona where the residents are blessed with weather boredom — and an influx of “snow birds” searching for frequent sunshine and winter warmth. For example, over the last two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona, the daily high temperatures fluctuated a measly six degrees, between 77 and 83. These spoiled Arizonans enjoyed sunshine every one of those fourteen days. And with respect to rain, every day was the same: there was none.
Here in south Mississippi this month, we usually have had to wait a little longer than a few minutes for the weather to change – but, not much longer. During the same two weeks that Phoenix’s high temperatures fluctuated between 77 and 83 degrees, our highs swung through a range of 32 degrees, with four days in the 70s, six in the 60s, three in the 50s, and one in the 40s.
This past Sunday we almost hit 80 degrees. Monday we couldn’t make it out of the 40s!
No wonder some people’s sinuses stay confused this time of year.
After a cold Tuesday and Wednesday, when the thermometer will struggle to make it to 50, our daytime temperatures are predicted to rise into the 50s on Thursday and Friday and the 60s over the weekend.
We will likely see more clouds than sun this week. We have a high chance of rain on Wednesday, and at least a slight chance Friday through the weekend.
Our upper level winds a few miles above the surface have shifted from the northwest to a more westerly direction. These high altitude westerly winds are predicted to continue this week, and even be southwesterly at times. As we have discussed before in this column, this kind of west-to-east upper flow protects us from any really cold surges coming down from the north.
However, small low-pressure disturbances are often embedded in the flow providing enough lift in the atmosphere to produce clouds and increase our rain chances.
One of those upper level disturbances will help form a surface low in the Gulf on Tuesday night and Wednesday. This low could generate an inch or two of rain for us during that period.
If you happen to be driving to north Mississippi during that same period, frequently check the weather there, because they could be cold enough for some icy roads.
If it is any consolation, know that this same pattern that will give us the clouds this week may actually produce some showers in Phoenix this weekend with high temperatures “only” in the 60s.
Maybe even the snowbirds will enjoy a break from all that sunshine.
By Skip Rigney.