We're in the midst -- or the beginning -- of what might end up being one of the most active weather patterns of this winter for the U.S. Let's divide this up into storm systems/days:
(1) a fairly vigorous upper level disturbance moving across the Deep South will help develop a weak surface low near Mobile that will track northeast into Ga. Thu.-Thu. night. A warm front will lift north Thu. morning accompanied by a few showers over NE Fl. & metro Jax followed by at least several dry, warm hours with temps. jumping well into the 70s. Rain will become more widespread over SE Ga. as the warm front moves north. By early afternoon, there will be a wide range in temps. from 70s over NE Fl. to the 60s, possibly even a few upper 50s over SE Ga. As the fast-moving low accelerates northeast, a cold front will sweep eastward accompanied by a line of showers & possibly a few t'storms. There is at least some potential for strong storms with gusty winds & possibly isolated tornadoes. Much will depend on how much instability can develop. It would appear that widespread clouds will limit true heating which would in turn limit overall instability. The greatest risk for a tornado -- if one were to occur -- will be near & south of the warm front in the afternoon/early evening which will probably end up being far south Ga., the Fl/Ga. border area to possibly as far south as I-10.
This relatively weak low will merge with another storm system to the north Fri. & develop into a powerful Nor'easter that will bring a major winter storm/blizzard to parts of the Northeast & New England including New York City & Boston where more than a foot of snow will be possible along with high winds later Fri. into Sat. Travel into the Northeast could be crippled for the first part of the weekend.
On the backside of the exiting storm, a strong surface high pressure will move to the east coast. The clockwise circulation will drive a gusty onshore wind to the First Coast bringing especially cool temps. to our beaches Sat. Temps. will moderate some Sun. as the winds become a little more southeast.
(2) The next storm will be a strong system moving from the Great Plains through the midwest into Southern Canada late in the weekend into early next week. Flooding rains & severe storms will be possible from Texas to the Tennessee & Ohio Valley's with heavy snow from Nebraska to Minnesota. This storm will move too far to the north of the First Coast to have much of a local impact, but it will sort of "set the table" for the next storm [see (3) below]. Ahead of this weather system temps. will again become unseasonably warm with highs flirting with 80 degrees Mon. & Tue.
(3) A third storm will develop during the middle of next week. This one should work along the stalled front north of the First Coast from storm #2 (see above). Early indications are that this will be a significant weather system with the potential for a severe storm outbreak over much of the Southeast U.S. & heavy snow for parts of the Tennessee & Ohio Valley to the east coast (depending, of course, on the exact track of the storm).
This active weather pattern looks to continue beyond next week & could end up delivering the coldest air of the winter to the First Coast the week after next.
Global temp. report:
As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.
The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a "public" computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
Second warmest January in past 35
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
January temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.51 C (about 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.55 C (about 0.99 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.46 C (about 0.83 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
Tropics: +0.38 C (about 0.68 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.
December temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.21 C above 30-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.15 C above 30-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.26 C above 30-year average
Tropics: +0.14 C above 30-year average
(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)
Notes on data released Feb. 6, 2013:
Globally, January 2013 was the second warmest January among the past 35, with an annual global average temperature that was 0.51 C (about 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 30-year baseline average, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. January 2010 was the warmest January, while January 1998 is now pushed to third warmest.
Compared to seasonal norms, over the past month the coldest area on the globe was east central Russia near the town of Nyagan, where temperatures for the month averaged as much as 2.51 C (about 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonal norms. Compared to seasonal norms, the “warmest” area on the globe in January was the Norwegian arctic archipelago of Svalbard, which is north of Norway and east of Greenland. Temperatures there averaged 4.1 C (about 7.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms for January.