Weather Blog: Is winter over?

Weather Blog: Is winter over?

TAMPA, Fla. – During about 3 to 4 weeks in January and up to a few days in February, we had very cold weather here. This was of course followed by a very warm December.

We seldom get very cold weather here to stay around for a very long time. Remember, when we talk about our “normal” weather, we are really talking about averages. So for most of the winter months, our “normal” highs are around 70s and our “normal” lows are in the low 50s. But over the decades we see warm spells and cold snaps in winter that are “average” are for these normals.

So if we continue for the next two months, we can still get quite cold historically. Think back to 2010. In February 2010, 24 of the 28 days were below average. In March we still had heights in the 60s and only on the 29th! However, the chances of freezing in the morning decrease when we enter at the end of February and especially March.

With the pattern of the past week, we have been under a high pressure ridge. This keeps us warm and generally keeps storm systems and strong cold fronts away from our area. There are signs that the pattern will break off somewhat in the coming week, but nothing really indicates a major pattern shift.

A dive in the jetstream will develop a storm system to travel through the eastern United States through Tuesday. The cold front will continue later on Tuesday, giving us a cooler day on Wednesday.

So nothing significantly cold is expected, but temperatures will sneak a few degrees below average for our high on Wednesday and our low Thursday morning. Looking for a longer range, by next week, the pattern will allow some cooler weather to come to our area or get close, but the bitterly cold air will be disconnected from this. That means, yes, we can cool down a bit on every passing cold front, we don’t really see an opportunity for significantly colder weather.

Even looking at some longer range models, there are some indications that the Western United States may still see some active cold weather in the next two weeks. But even if that shifts a bit after that, we’re already moving to March at that point. That said, I wouldn’t put the jacket away yet, but also keep the slippers nearby.