Written January 9th - 11 P.M.
If you read my last article you would have known that the next few days will be warm. Not only warm, but rainy and perhaps thundery as well. A strong low pressure system will eject out of the Southern Plains this evening bringing heavy showers and a few thunderstorms with it. The big story with this system though will be the warm weather it brings to the local area. Highs Thursday should be in the mid 50's and pushing the record of 61 on Friday. With the warmth will bring showers and some thunderstorms. We can expect almost an inch of (much needed) rain Thursday night into Friday.
Highs in the 60's in January are not all that rare, but are exemplified this year due to the fact we have seen minimal snow fall and warm temperatures. We are now over 320 days in a row where we have not recorded 1" of snow which broke the all time longest streak set over 100 years ago. Looking forward toward the next couple of weeks we will see colder temperatures, but still no major snow systems. Highs certainly won't hover around 55-60, however, we will still be "warm" in the mid 30's.
Just how warm was 2012? We (as a nation) set our all time highest average high temperature at 55.3° Fahrenheit, which was 3.2° Fahrenheit above the twentieth-century average and 1.0° Fahrenheit above the previous record from 1998. From http://www.climate.gov - "Every state in the contiguous United States had an above-average annual temperature for 2012. Nineteen states had a record-warm year, and an additional 26 states had one of their 10 warmest. On the national scale, 2012 started off much warmer than average, with the fourth-warmest winter (December 2011–February 2012) on record. The winter snow cover for the contiguous United States was the third smallest on record, and snowpack totals across the Central and Southern Rockies were less than half of normal. Although the last four months of 2012 did not bring the same unusual warmth as the first 8 months of the year, the September through December temperatures were warm enough for 2012 to remain the United States’ record-warmest year by a wide margin."
Winter 2012 into 2013 has actually trended WARMER than last year's record breaking year. What does this mean? It is to soon to tell, but with warmer temperatures and less than adequate precipitation our local area could further be in the grips of a worsening drought. Warm and dry conditions will also boost fire danger in the woodlands and prairies come Spring time.
For those of you who like warm weather though, enjoy it while you can!