Last week and over the weekend, we had multiple days nearing the 70° mark, and even two record breaking warm days across the Upstate in the mid-70s! Clearly abnormal for the end of February. We had a cold front move through this morning and it's continued to bring a few scattered showers to the southern half of the Upstate, but by this afternoon we'll see clearing skies and highs will stay chilly in the 40s to low 50s.
Our next few days should remain sunny as well, so why aren't we going to get back up into the 70s?? There are a few reasons, all due to the setup of different air masses.
The high pressure system that is pushing in behind the cold front is what we call a "Continental Polar" air mass. What that means is, it's dry and cold. Even though the sun will warm us up slightly, the nature of the air mass is that it developed over a cold region in the arctic, so it'll just take way too long to warm up, and by the time it does it won't be sitting over the Upstate anymore. Another factor that'll help keep us relatively chilly is that we have clear skies overnight. Much more nighttime cooling happens when we're clear, so we'll end up in the teens, 20s, and low 30s over the next few nights. When temperatures get that cold, even a constant sunny sky the next day will have a harder time pushing temperatures up higher than what's normal.
The good news for those wanting the spring-like weather back is that we'll start to pull in southerly air this weekend, and temperatures should rebound into the 50s and low 60s.