Unseasonably chilly air will dominate the weather pattern across the East Coast through the end of March. Normal highs in the middle to latter portion of March are generally in the middle to upper 60s. Most of our area will be 10 to 12 degrees below normal through the remainder of this week with little relief expected into early next week. Cold high pressure has been forming over the large snow pack in western Canada then moving southeast into our area. The cold air is in stark contrast to the first two months of winter. Both December and January averaged between 3 to 5 degrees above normal. February was near normal and now March will be well below normal.
Rainfall has continued to be near to slightly above normal and that trend is likely to continue into early April. The current weather pattern could certainly limit the agricultural interests across the region. Temperatures are likely to fall below freezing early Friday and there could be another freeze next week. More rain is expected by Sunday and that will keep our soils very moist. These factors point to a later growing season this year than last.
Longer range forecasts still suggest a warm spring with near normal temperatures. If so, we should be able to get the growing season going in earnest by mid-April.