Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Last Hot Chocolate Advisory of 2010 Before the Icemen Melt and Real Thaw Begins!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 4 p.m.
Well this picture will certainly be a thing of the past and soon. Here is an iceman that Patti built on Sunday here in Jacksonville when we had snow flurries. No, we did not have enough snow to build any snowmen or in this case an iceman. We only had a trace of snow reported at the airport, and any snow that fell quickly melted with our warm ground temperatures. But it was cold enough to take shaved ice from the Jacksonville Indoor Sports Arena and make an iceman in the flurries. Usually the ice melts right away, but not in this weather pattern.
But signs of change are coming our way. Icemen will be a thing of the past. Get this guy a ticket to the North Pole before it is too late! Most of our weather maps and many great discussions come from Washington, D.C. and here is BIG NEWS for us that I chomped over today! Check it out....
AN ARCTIC FRONT OVER THE HIGH PLAINS WILL PUSH SWIFTLY ONTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS EARLY THURSDAY BRINGING MUCH COLDER TEMPERATURES TO THE REGION FOR THE LAST TWO DAYS OF THE YEAR. TEMPERATURES WILL BE ABOUT 10 TO 20 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. PRECIPITATION WILL SUBSIDE OVER A GOOD PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES BY FRIDAY... ONLY TO INCREASE OVER THE CENTRAL/NORTHERN PLAINS. AREAS EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI WILL ENJOY RELATIVELY TRANQUIL CONDITIONS AS HIGH PRESSURE SLIDES OFF THE EAST COAST.
That is right the next arctic front entering the United States is NOT coming our way or anywhere close to Florida. This is some great news! After all we have had 4 arctic fronts already this month along with 4 records set in the past 3 weeks. The big storm to end the new year will stay west and over the Plains States.
We have a new pattern for the new year and I think most of us are ready. Reading between the lines this tells us a lot. The southeast ridge of high pressure we saw so often this summer is making a comeback over us as we head into January. It will protect us and block any arctic fronts from even thinking about coming our way. In fact, I do not see any freezing temperatures after tonight for at least 10 days! Even Jacksonville Beach got down to 29 last night and the 24 at Jacksonville was the same low as Minneapolis St. Paul and we do not have a 17 inch snow pack to work with.
Tonight we will not have to worry about the pipes, but I would bring in the pets and plants as temperatures once again plummet to freezing before our real thaw finally begins. The thaw is coming about a month early this year since our winter came so early. Normally our coldest time of year is the third week of January, this year it occurred without a doubt in December. Do not get me wrong, we will still have a few cold blasts between now and the end of winter, but not nearly as severe nor for as long as we just endured.
There were only 3 states in the entire country with no snow on the ground Monday morning. They included Texas, Louisiana, and Florida! Check out the visible satellite picture above showing just how close to home snow was covering the ground yesterday! The white you see is snow. Notice it covering the ground in South Carolina and you can really make out the Pee Dee River nicely. Columbia had its first White Christmas since records have been kept in 1877 and Georgia also has a nice mantle of white along with the Carolinas! Atlanta had its first White Christmas since 1881!
While we have had fun with all this strange weather on the air and here on the weather blog our thoughts and prayers are for Cindy and Lauren to get home safely. What a great picture, but they tell me they have been stranded in New Jersey since Sunday and hopefully tomorrow they can finally come home where they belong! Yes, this is the same New Jersey that was clobbered with over 30 inches of snow! This type of storm in this type of La Nina pattern has not hit the Garden State since 1909. Next year I think she should have all her family fly here to Florida. She has earned at least 5 Christmases at home in Florida after all she has been through. Way to keep your head up Cindy! Yes, she and Lauren are still showing their beautiful smiles!
So why the craziness? You can blame the strongest La Nina in at least the last 50 years and you can make the case in the last century. Check out all the blue in the Pacific. These are below average water temperatures that tend to shift the jet stream all over the world. The jet stream guides not only weather systems but control weather patterns. So what has been happening is no coincidence. The jet stream is out of place and our weather way out of balance. One of the main reasons for this is the La Nina cycle we currently are in. The La Nina will slowly weaken but likely be a formidable force into the Spring and Summer.
What this means for us is get ready for a bad fire season with our drought conditions continuing. At the same time we will shift to above average temperatures through the rest of our winter with only brief cold spells. What concerns me is hurricane season. I will talk more about this tomorrow along with other factors that will keep us from the crazy cold we have experienced.
Stay warm tonight. There is a freeze warning and I will issue my last Hot Chocolate Advisory of 2010! Remember the marshmallows and do not be shy and stay warm by writing to me at First Coast News. We have been through a lot together and I look forward to sharing your weather pictures and stories. Thanks, stay tuned, take care and do not burn your tongues!