Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jack Frost Not Likely to Visit Anytime Soon Area 10 Degrees Warmer Than Norm

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jack Frost Not Likely to Visit Anytime Soon Area 10 Degrees Warmer Than Norm

Article excerpt

Byline: David C.L. Bauer, Times-Union staff writer

It isn't beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, at least not with almost-summerlike temperatures going toe-to-toe with decades-old record highs in Northeast Florida.

While few curse the unseasonable warmth, when those toasty temperatures combine with drier-than-normal conditions, they are confounding to armchair gardeners and lawn-care perfectionists.

Yesterday's high of 80 came within notches of toppling the record of 82 degrees set in 1956, but the return to the low 70s today will be a far cry from the record high 83 degrees recorded in 1972.

Record lows for Dec. 14 and 15 were 24 degrees in 1960 and 23 degrees in 1944, respectively.

Usually by this time of the year, the average temperature for Northeast Florida is 56 degrees -- the high typically reaching 67 and the low dipping to about 43. But the average temperature so far this month has been 66 degrees, with highs hitting into the 80s and the lows nudging just under the 50-degree mark, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmos- pheric Administration.

That has meant a 10-degree departure from the norm.

Northeast Florida is not alone. Nationwide, last month was the second-warmest November in the 107 years the National Climatic Data Center has kept records, but colder and more wintry weather will make an appearance this month.

Maybe in Jacksonville, too; maybe not.

"We're predicting for both January and the season of January through March, which is usually your coolest three months, temps to be just a little bit on the above-normal side," said Jim Wagner, a meteorologist at the National Climate Prediction Center near Washington.

The region can still expect an occasional blast of freezing air, he said, but overall it will be milder and drier than average.

"There will be enough variability in the weather this season you will see some cold weather from time to time, but we can't say when," Wagner said. …

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