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March 19, 2009

Weather Watch


When it’s warmer to the north and cooler to the south, it’s so easy to get into an extremely dry weather pattern in Otsego County. The weather forecast in last week’s weather column was more optimistic than other local weather forecasts, but the weather was actually much better than even we predicted.

Once again, we got an example of how a southerly storm track can bring an upside-down temperature pattern that signals very dry air and bright sunshine in the Cooperstown area. This kind of weather pattern is actually more common in March than many local residents may believe, and once we get into a very dry weather pattern, it’s difficult to get any significant precipitation.

The last several days has featured classic maple sugaring weather in our area, with cold nights and very mild, sunny days. This pattern will continue all weekend and right through at least the beginning of next week.

No major storms are anywhere in sight, and it looks like March will turn out to be the third straight month with below normal precipitation.

In fact, after a third of normal precipitation in February, we’ll be lucky to get two-thirds of normal precipitation in March. Friday through Wednesday, extremely dry conditions will prevail, with near-normal temperatures. Cold nights and mild, sunny days will continue to favor maple sugaring in our region.

On Friday as low pressure moves northward to eastern Canada, a colder northerly flow will take over, with unlimited sunshine, azure-blue skies and very dry air; highs in the low 40s.

Crystal clear skies will continue all weekend, with brilliant sunshine Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as a large area of high pressure builds eastward from the Great Lakes to New England; highs 42 to 47 degrees. As a milder southwesterly flow takes over, skies will be partly sunny with highs in the low 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mark Hanok is an Otegobased meteorologist.

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