Buresh Blog: Latest Jacksonville Freezes... 2021 Temps... Dec. Severe Storms... Jan. Night Skies

Jacksonville, FL — Jacksonville (JIA) still has not had a freeze this winter (2021-’22). We’re nearing the record latest freeze at JIA of Jan. 25th in 1995. Jacksonville’s weather historical record does to back to 1871, but the thermometer was near downtown before being moved to its current location at JIA in 1971. Since 1871 when including the d’town location, the latest freeze on record is March 10, 1932. Inland NE Fl. averages about 15 freezes a season, closer to 22 freezes per season for inland SE Ga. The first freeze the last 5 years beginning w/ last winter: Dec. 1, Dec. 3, Nov. 28, Jan. 2 & Nov. 21. The 30-year avg. for Jacksonville’s (JIA) first freeze of the season is Dec. 10th.

2021 was above avg. across the Lower 48. Notable exceptions - including Jacksonville - were Feb., April, May, July & Nov. The year ended on a very warm note with most of the U.S. having a well above avg. Dec. (more than 6 degrees above avg. for Jax). For the year, 2021 was the 4th warmest on record for the contiguous U.S.

Major weather “events” for ‘21:

Speaking of Dec., severe storms - more like spring - dominated the month. The month had a record number of storm reports (tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail) with two prominent outbreaks - the Tennessee to Lower Ohio Valley + Missouri to Michigan & a second outbreak in the Midwest centered on the corn belt.

December also had the most tornadoes on record including the long track severe EF-4 tornado that moved from Arkansas into Missouri, Tennessee then Kentucky.

Interesting graphic from the Storm Prediction Center below shows the number t’storm hours for each year going back to 2016. As one would expect, the highest coverage of t’storms was along the Gulf Coast:

Jan./early Feb. night skies from Sky & Telescope:

Jan. 20 (dawn): The waning gibbous Moon is above the western horizon in Leo, 4° from Regulus.

Jan. 24 (dawn): The Moon (one day shy of last quarter) is 5° to the upper right of Spica.

Jan. 29 (dawn): The pretty trio of the waning crescent Moon, Mars, and Venus rises in the south-southeast.

Feb. 2 (dusk): Look carefully low in the southwest to spot a very thin crescent Moon, just one day past new, 4° to the lower left of Jupiter.

Feb. 3 (dusk): Look for the ghostly glow of “Earthshine” on the dark part of the thin crescent Moon, now higher up and 12° from Jupiter.

Feb. 8 (evening): High in the south-southwest, the first-quarter Moon is situated 6° below the Pleiades.

Moon Phases

First Quarter - January 9, 2:11 p.m. EST

Full Moon - January 19, 7:48 p.m. EST (Full Wolf Moon)

Last Quarter - January 25, 9:41 a.m. EST