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Jet stream traps cold air in February

Weather Observations: USA
March 07, 2007

It was the COLDEST FEBRUARY SINCE 1980 in Roanoke. During most of the past eight months, we've had a very amplified jet stream pattern. That's a fancy way of saying the jet stream, the fast-moving river of air 4 to 7 miles up, has been contorted into huge bulges toward the north and large dips toward the south.


MAINE - the minus 6 degrees reading at 7 a.m. on the 7th at the Portland Jetport broke the old RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THIS DATE of minus 3 set in 1989. The high temperature of 18 on Tuesday was the COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE EVER FOR MARCH 6, dating back to when weather records were first recorded at the Jetport in 1940. Previously, the record low high temperature was 26 degrees, set in 1972 and 1999. Although the low temperature of zero Tuesday morning was not a record, when combined with the record low high temperature, it gave Portland an average for the day of 9 degrees, breaking the record of 10 degrees for the LOWEST AVERAGE set on March 6, 1948. Ironically, it was exactly two months ago Tuesday, Jan. 6, when record high temperatures occurred throughout the Northeast. At New York City's Central Park, the temperature hit 74 degrees while in Portland it rose to 67 degrees, setting an all-time record for the month.

NEW HAMPSHIRE - March 6 was the COLDEST MARCH DAY IN STATE HISTORY. An abysmal high temperature of 7 degrees was recorded in Concord, shattering the previous record of 11 degrees set on March 3, 1950. "It's not something we haven't seen before, but it is UNUSUAL for this time of winter...Getting a cold blast like this in March is kind of unusual, but they've certainly happened before."

ILLINOIS - snowfall amounts in central and northern Illinois were typically 4-16 inches above normal, including 20 inches in Champaign-Urbana, the HIGHEST ON RECORD THERE SINCE 1903. Flooding will be a concern in portions of the state over the next several weeks due to snowmelt and rain falling on frozen or saturated soils.
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