While the calendar says January, the weather will be more like spring for an extended period -- possibly through much of next week! High temps. will be far above avg. (64) in the 70s & even the low 80s at times (near records) with lows only in the 50s to at times low 60s -- not far from the avg. high.
The pattern will also be mostly dry but not before a few showers occur through Wed. as the warmer air pushes northward. The pattern is largely controlled by an unseasonably strong upper level high centered over or near Cuba that will pump warm, moist air across Fl. & much of the Eastern U.S. At the same time....a trough of low pressure will dominate the Western U.S. so much colder air will spill into the Western & Northern U.S. The map below is the American forecast model -- GFS -- for late Fri. at about 30,000 feet. Note the big dome of warm high pressure over Cuba vs. the large dip -- or trough -- over the Western U.S. The large upper high will keep a storm system in Texas far to the north & west of the Southeast U.S. It doesn't look like there will be of a breakdown in the pattern until possibly
late next week at which time we could finally some cold air dip into the Southeast U.S.
Our Jax N.W.S. has issued its annual climate summary for 2012 -- click here -- as well as rainfall for selected areas -- click here. The image below shows the rainfall departure from avg. for 2012.
Speaking of our N.W.S., time to say farewell to Steve Letro, Meteorologist-In-Charge going back to the mid 1990s. Steve retired after a 35+ year stint in the N.W.S. -- see the photo where I wished him well at a retirement dinner in his honor Fri. evening. Steve was one of my first calls upon arriving on the First Coast more than 10 years ago. He was a wealth of information & has always been willing to answer any questions. You would often see Mr. Letro next to the mayor during weather disasters & when the local area was threatened by tropical storms or hurricanes. His calming influence + accurate depiction of any perceived threat helped city officials & disaster preparedness managers make timely & smart decisions. Steve became a good friend & someone that I respect a great deal. Here's wishing him the best.