Saturday, January 7, 2012

Foggy to Fantasy Pattern Gives Way to Reality Check as La Nina Weakens

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What a rude awakening due to a mix of fog and smoke causing near zero visibility in Putnam County. Even here downtown I snapped a picture of what looks more like San Francisco than Jacksonville, Florida. The good news is the fog will lift by late morning and the sunshine will win out. One of the drawbacks of having temperatures so much above normal this time of year is if you have clear skies it does not take much for the air to cool to its saturation point with our long nights, especially with all the real cold, dry polar air located over a thousand miles from home. But since we have a warm, tropical high pressure in control once the fog lifts we warm up in a hurry. Today expect highs to have no trouble reaching back up near 70 degrees. This is fantasy land for this time of year because climatologically our coldest week for average highs is this week! Amazing! The southern jet stream which is in charge of our Disney weather also sent us a few showers this morning but behind a weak upper-level disturbance drier air should wrap in and we will have plenty of liquid sunshine to enjoy. Check out the beaches confirming the forecast!

The surf will have some nice smooth one to two foot sets to enjoy! But it is not all a walk on the beach! The overall pattern is showing signs of change. The La Nina or below average ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific is now weakening. The temperatures are warming. This is the same La Nina that has brought us awful drought conditions and a fire season that never truly ended in 2010 into 2011. So good riddance La Nina. If this trend continues we can expect an increase in not only rain but an increase in cold fronts from the North. So instead of warm, dry, warm, dry, light shower, rinse, repeat....we could have a potpourri of weather. In fact we have showers and maybe even some thunderstorms are back in your seven day forecast Wednesday. This may be followed by a big chill with highs in the 50s on Friday, a nor'easter next Saturday and then freezing weather. Your weather team will have much more than a two minute advantage, how about a two month advantage! Here is the global pattern change below!

The big feature in all this is the ocean temperatures are starting to warm and this will ease the La Nina impact. Notice the jet stream forms more of a broad trough across the country and the storm track is closer to home. This means winter has not been cancelled. But keep in mind I am still favoring overall temperatures to remain above average the rest of the winter. The big change will be an increase in rainfall for us! Our friends up north will not be shut out in the snow department and this includes Maryland, Virginia, and Indiana. Texas will also receive needed rain after their driest year on record. So we are heading in the right direction.

I will talk more about drought and wildfire relief here on the blog over the weekend so make sure to check back. It is good to be back and I am very grateful I got to spend a ton of time with my family over the holidays and yes I even cleaned out the garage! Now buckle up, 2012 is looking interesting weatherwise and otherwise and it is an honor to keep you ahead of whatever nature dishes out! Tonight be careful of the fog, that is for sure! Be safe!

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