Why are we having such a warm winter?
I caved. After days of 70+ degree weather, I finally turned on the air conditioning in my house this week. Because I should be in a sweater instead of shorts this time of year, I thought I’d go to KVUE meteorologist Albert Ramon for an explanation for this warm winter.
It was one year ago this week that the high temperature was in the 20s, and the Austin area got nearly an inch of snow. This “winter” is a drastic opposite with near-record highs. According to Ramon, on Wednesday Feb. 1, Camp Mabry recorded a high temperature of 82 degrees. That’s just one degree shy of the all-time record high for the date, set back in 1963.
So why the summer-like temps? Ramon says it’s all about the jet stream. “The jet stream has been much farther north than normal, allowing for arctic and polar air to remain trapped to the north. Even on the very few frigid days we’ve had this winter, the cold air has retreated northward quickly.”
Last year, the jet stream was much farther southward, allowing for Canadian and Arctic air to spill into much of the nation, especially the east, plains, and south.
Ramon says this weather pattern is not unusual and that patterns can fluctuate from year to year.
Could this weather pattern last for the rest of the winter? Ramon says it’s possible, but unlikely. “Although in the short term, above average to average temperatures are in the forecast," he said. "But by mid to late February, into early March, we could see some frigid air in our area. Until then, let’s enjoy the spring-like weather, because summer-like heat is just a few months away.”
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