Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): Noticed how the year started much warmer than average, flipped a switch in March, flipped back to heat in April and now we can’t shake out of the 70s?
Chief Meteorologist examined jet stream patterns and found a close match to one of the Pacific teleconnection patterns and our temperatures this year:
The entire winter was warmer than average, except for a few brief and I mean brief hiccups. Then, a cold blast slapped us in the face in mid to late March only fade into a warm April pattern. Since late March, our temperatures have been cooler more often than warm.
I took a closer look at the two Pacific jet stream patterns, the East Pacific Oscillation and the Pacific North American Pattern and then the Atlantic pattern, represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation.
Ultimately, the fluctuation of the East Pacific Oscillation best represents our large fluctuations in temperatures this year. Check out how often the warm phase prevailed this past winter and see how closely it matches up to our warm spell. When the EPO went negative, it tanked and that’s when our temperatures tanked. Also notice how the extreme positive spikes have subsided since early April and how well it matches the more consistent cooler cycle.
The second best matched pattern is the Pacific North American Pattern. It was negative for almost the entire winter and the trend is for a positive phase of this pattern since early May. The negative pattern aligns well with our warm winter and the positive phase our cooler late spring into early summer.
And to a lesser degree the North Atlantic Oscillation has a much looser degree of correlation to our temperatures. The extreme negative dips do align cooler temperatures locally but not all the time.
Check out the analog or best match to our current summer…. Early July 2021 when the East Pacific was negative and Pacific North American Oscillation was positive.
Other than a handful of days here and there through Fourth of July fireworks celebrations, the data suggests this jet stream configuration, which we are currently in with the blue colors over southern West Virginia, will likely continue unabated into early July.