WeatherWatcher: Unsettled Weather and March in review

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Photo by Tim Davis

This late winter and early spring have been a classic La Niña weather pattern. We've been dominated by a northwest flow from the arctic out through the Gulf of Alaska into the region. This is creating a situation where air in the atmosphere or aloft is much colder than the air at the surface. 

The cold air above is producing the perfect conditions to bring us very unstable air, with heavy short lived rain showers, hail showers and rain/snow mix showers. Some of these showers are strong enough to produce a lightning strike and occasional rumble of thunder.

Rainfall compared to average at the Northridge Weather Station in March 2023.

Despite all the intermittent heavy rain showers we are below average on rainfall, which has been the trend most of the winter. This is somewhat unusual for La Niña, but sometimes we get too far on the cold side of the jet stream and that can limit the amount of moisture our area gets.

High and Low Temperatures compared to average at the Northridge Weather Station in March 2023.

Temperatures have for most of March trended below normal, except for a couple of rare mild days in the second half of the month. Also, not unusual for a few days to be warmer than normal to balance out a March. The average temperature for March at the Northridge station has been 44.9°F over the past 12 years. This year's average was 43.7°F so a little over 1 degree cooler than normal.

Forecast: Unsettled cooler than normal weather is expected to continue into Wednesday evening before we transition back to more seasonable temperatures. Don't expect sunny warm days soon though, more weather systems will be moving through bringing us a more winter typical steady rain event Thursday morning lasting through Friday night. Temperatures will come up to the lower 50's though with lows in the 40's.

Over the weekend we transition from rain to showers, with high temperatures climbing up into the lower 60's on Sunday. The chance of rain continues however well into the middle of next week.

Long Range Forecast: When will we start to see real spring weather? Longer range hints towards our first 70°F sunny day to be sometime out in May. April looks cooler than normal in general with more unsettled weather likely at least several times over the next 3-4 weeks.

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