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Spring-like weather won’t be here long

What month is it?<!—->.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

What month is it?

Even though the calender says January, the mild temperatures experienced in the area could mislead someone into thinking spring weather has settled into the Tri-State.

And that’s the norm said WSAZ NewsChannel 3 chief meteorologist Tony Cavalier, who added, "more and more, the definition of winter is changing," stating that a harsh winter is based on only having a few mild days during the season.

Cavalier said the mild weather is attributed to a cold front that is held captive far to the north, over Scandinavia and Russia. The cold weather is holding in that pattern, Cavalier explained, because there are no atmospheric mechanisms pushing the cold front down into the area.

There are only a few dips of cold air, one of which was in California which dumped some snow in that area and kept temperatures in the southern California basin 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal. Air filling into the Tri-State, Cavalier said, is funneling from the semi-tropic regions.

But don’t get used to the warm front, Cavalier added.

"This is a temporary siege."

Cavalier added that the cold air front, by definition, has to be exhausted and pushed far north in order for warm temperatures in the spring.

"There’s a storage of cold air," Cavalier said.

Reality will set in as the week progresses, Cavalier said, with cold air pouring back into the area.

Cavalier said meteorologists are watching for a major storm development over the Plains and the Midwest regions that could form later in the week. Cavalier said the Tri-State should be on the warm side of the storm that may bring wild, winter weather to that area and may form thunderstorms into the Tri-State region.