Seattle gales may be a better description.
Get ready for some wind, rising thermometers and a disappearing act by your local snow bank. Our well-advertised February thaw arrives today.
Anatomy of a Pacific invasion
The sheer momentum of this inbound series of Pacific fronts is impressive. Watch the maps as a strong low pressure system drags a warm front-cool front combo across the Upper Midwest over the next 48 hours.
The dirty little secret about Pacific cool fronts? They analyze as a cold front on the weather maps, but they're often warmer than warm fronts we might get after an Arctic outbreak in mid-winter. That's how different the air masses can be.
Temperatures peak Friday afternoon. Here's a map you don't often see in February. Golf in Des Moines, Iowa, anyone? Quick mini spring break in Kansas City, Mo.?
Rain out west
The inbound system sweeps the west coast with more heavy rain and mountain snow.
More February rain for Minnesota
Winters are warming faster in Minnesota than any state in the nation. That means more winter precip fall as rain instead of snow. This week brings another shot of February rain.
Here's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's North American Mesoscale Forecast System 4 km model simulated radar indicating a shot of April showers in February centered on Friday morning.
Weather weirding anyone?
String of 40s
Five days at or above 40 degrees in the next week? In February? That's what the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model thinks.
Warm start to March?
File this under still too early for high confidence, but a trend worth watching. We cool down into the 30s and maybe a few days in the 20s next week. After that the first week of March looks very warm according to the longer range products.
Another string of days in the 40s, with highs approaching 50 degrees once again? It's entirely possible if we lose snow cover, which seems a sure bet by this weekend.
March may deliver a few snowy speed bumps along the way, but I still think we're heading for an early spring this year.