BEND, Ore. - February has come and gone as 2013 quickly marches forwards.
Climatologically speaking, February was warm and dry for Central Oregon. Most of our storm system pushing through the state brought snowfall to the mountains but left lower elevations dry.
Bend only had three days of either rain or snow through the whole month. In total, Bend accumulated 0.12 inches for February. That amount is 0.88 below the average of 1.00 inch.
Temperatures across Central Oregon generally stayed above the norm. The average high temperature for February was 47 degrees, three degrees above the normal average high temperature.
Long-range forecast models suggest that March will continue the dry trend, but temperatures will typically be cooler than normal. A series of weak storm systems will be responsible for our cooler month, keeping winds from the north, which will usher in arctic air.
Despite a series of storm systems moving through the region for March, Central Oregon won't be above average, in regards to moisture. Oregon and most of the country is expected to receive enough rain and snow to keep precipitation levels near average. Our neighbors to the south, California and Nevada will be seeing little moisture through March.
Over the next 14 days, our long-range forecast models suggest that after a snap of colder air this Wednesday and Thursday, our weekend will be sunny and warm before a more prolonged periods of below average temperatures return to Central Oregon.
By the way, last week's snow surveys off Cascade Lakes Highway found the snow-water equivalent (how much water is in the snowpack) to be 23 to 26 percent below the 30-year average for this point in late winter.