The recent warmth has been a welcome change of pace from the frigid temperatures that gripped the Lowcountry earlier this winter, and with spring approaching the possibility of having to contend with such cold again this season seemed slim, but it still exists, according to AccuWeather.
The meteorological agency’s long range forecasts show temperatures dropping into the 40s by next Friday and into the high 30s the Friday after next.
Lows in the 40s are expected throughout most of March, with 23 of 31 days forecast to see lows in that range, according to AccuWeather. Even the start of April is forecast to see some days with lows in the 40s.
According to Jonathan Lamb, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, it might be best to take AccuWeather’s long range forecast with a grain of salt.
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“It’s just not scientifically valid. The model data is just not good at that range,” said Lamb. “Anywhere beyond four to five days, accuracy is very low, and it just gets lower and lower as you move further out into the future.”
Lamb said that when meteorological agencies forecast specific temperatures so far in advance, they are typically using the average temperatures for each day. That means that historically it has been both colder and warmer than the number being predicted.
The weather service’s own long range climate models, which look at temperature from a more seasonal perspective instead of day by day, forecast equal odds of temperatures being above or below normal throughout March.
That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t expect things to cool back down in March. It can happen, and has before. The record low for March was 20 degrees, recorded March 3, 1980, measured at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
“In the spring you can have these really warm spells and then you can also have cold spells,” said Lamb. “It is quite common for there to be dips in temperature, but as we get later into the year those cold spells tend to get shorter and shorter.”