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February Flip in Florida Fends Off Freezing January

This story was posted on January 2, 2018...


February, in contrast, has been much warmer. Temperatures have been running 5 to 10 degrees above normal in cities such as Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando. In fact, record highs are in jeopardy this week in Fort Myers, Melbourne and Tampa. And even where ice and snow hit not once, but twice last month in the Florida Panhandle, temperatures are now averaging five to seven degrees above the February norm.

The frigid January has been completely erased by the extreme warmth of the first fourteen days of February.

The three maps below show how cold January was compared to normal, how warm February is so far, and where we stand for the season as a whole (since December 1st) compared to normal.A La Nina weather pattern was largely the reasoning behind the warm seasonal forecast. When the waters near the equator over the Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal, a shift in the steering currents typically prevents long-lasting intrusions of cold air from reaching Florida. This was not the case during the first half of the season, as there was a more dominate upper-level flow from Canada, overriding the typical affects from the Pacific.

Long range data continues to suggest the warmer patter, now likely being influenced by the continuing La Nina pattern, will continue into early spring. Temperatures are forecast to be above normal statewide for at least the next five days, with no sign of a strong cold front through the coming weekend.

Content is current now, not necessarily at the time of the post.
Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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