Meteorologist Tom Clark Answers The Question, ‘Why Is It So Cold’?

Oh, we’ve had sunny mornings followed by snow, and overcast, snowy days with clear cold nights, and we’ve had blue skies and snow squalls simultaneously –admit it, we’ve seen it all this winter and spring is starting off with more of the same.

So, what was all that about?

Let’s consult Mountaintop’s own Weatherman Tom Clark for answers…

Tom gets right to the point, “People ask ‘why is it so cold; why has it been so cold?’ Scientists look at that and part of it has to do with a weaker jet stream. The jet stream steers weather systems and when it gets weaker it tends to loop more north and south. And with that you tend to get more colder air moving south out of Canada.

“That is a bit unusual, the cold air permeates farther south and stays longer. This is what is called an arctic oscillation. It’s in a strongly negative phase this month –in March it has been.” All of this has resulted in a drop of over 2 degrees below average.

Add to this the precipitation we’ve been receiving on virtually a daily basis. Again, Tom has the answers, “We’re getting icy showers, snow pellets, snow flurries with a little rain mixed in at times because the freezing level has been so low to the ground. Usually it’s up a little higher: up around 4, 5, 6000 feet. But this month it’s been lower than normal, around 2,500 to 3000 feet above ground. That’s what been causing the icy showers to move through.”

Knowing why does help. And Tom also offers some insight into a few benefits of Old Man Winter over-staying his welcome. “You know

so cold in March, the fruit trees are not forced out of their dormancy. That will lessen the chance of having frost-damage in April or May.”

Tom reminds that the early thaw

change from last March, one-year ago. It was the warmest March on record. And then they got hit with that frost…They lost the apple crop and the plum crop and the peach crop.

See Cold page 4

there is some good about having

last year exposed tender buds dangerous frost in April, “What