Arctic air mass to bring record cold, increased snow chances

Arctic air plunges into the Midwest and Great Lakes March 3rd-7th.
Who's ready for record-breaking cold to begin March? Typically we start seeing milder days once March rolls around with our average highs in the 40s and 50s. Unfortunately, we won't be anywhere near those values for the foreseeable future. Colder than normal temperatures will remain in place thru mid-month. It's possible we don't see a single day above normal until perhaps St. Patrick's Day!

That translates to high temperatures in the 20s and 30s for the next 14-18 days. A few days toward mid-March could be in the lower 40s, but that would still be below normal for that time. The real attention-grabber outside of us staying colder than normal is the severity of the cold early next week. Daily temperature records are in jeopardy next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with highs in the teens to low 20s and lows in the single digits. It's the kind of cold we don't see that often in March. Factor in a little bit of wind and we'll have wind chills below zero for three straight mornings. 

During that stretch next week, our high temperatures will be 20-30° below where they should be, which is certainly extreme. Thankfully we don't stay that cold for too long. Temps to begin to warm up by the end of next week into the 20s and 30s, but that is still below average for March standards. The first time we have a realistic shot at warmer than normal day isn't until sometime around St. Patrick's Day, if not later. 

Chance of below normal temperatures for March. Climate Prediction Center
We likely won't see 50° until sometime during the last 10 days of the month. And with it staying cold for the next few weeks, our chances for snow are higher. A typical March brings about 7" of snow to South Bend. While it's too early to discuss how much snow we will see throughout the month, we can say that there is a very high chance that we will see snow several times before the month is over.

A system could bring accumulating snow around March 8th or so.
There will be chances for lake effect and system snow thru mid-month. In fact, a few forecast models suggest a decent amount of snow could fall sometime around March 8th-10th depending on how that system develops. Until we break this cold pattern, snow chances are going nowhere. 

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