Forecast promises warm days for area


Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.
Shorts and flip-flops will be way more popular than fleece and flannel this week as kids across North Florida return to school.
The weather forecast calls for daytime highs approaching 80 at least until Monday.
"We have the usual suspect for the warmer weather," said Peter Keegan, a hydrometeorological technician at the National Weather Service office in Jacksonville. "There's a surface ridge of high pressure that has stalled. As long as that remains in place, we will continue to have winds from the south and so we will continue to have warm temperatures."
By warm, Keegan is talking about daytime highs in the mid- to upper 70s while the overnight low temperatures will dip only into the 50s.
"It is unseasonable, but probably won't set any records because these high and low temperatures are not extremes," Keegan said.
Highs in the 70s call for short-sleeved shirts, which is exactly what city workers were wearing early Tuesday morning in Williston, southwest of Gainesville, as they dug trenches that will be used to bury utilities in the city's Linear Park.
Their counterparts - municipal workers in other Willistons in other states - may have been considering short sleeves too brief even to walk across their own living rooms.
In Williston, Vt., back-to-back ice storms during the weekend closed all major highways, Public Works Director Neil Boyden said.
"Don't even tell me what the temperature is down there in Florida," Boyden said Tuesday afternoon. "It's 19 degrees here. That's above zero. And it's gloomy and damp and there is no snow on the ground. We're just making equipment repairs today to get ready for whatever comes next."
Up in Williston, N.D., Public Works Director Monte Meiers looked out his office window Tuesday afternoon. "The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we have finished two days of shoveling and plowing," he said.
Although Meiers was not sure exactly how much snow fell on his city during the past few days, he was well aware of the forecasted high temperature for today - 10 degrees above zero.
"Want me to send some of it your way?" Meiers offered.
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or voylesk@gvillesun.com.

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