Cold weather expected to hang around

Low temperatures are forecast to be in the 20s most of the week.

Published: Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 10:52 p.m.

Like this cold weather? Those who don't are in for a rough spell, because lows are forecast to be in the 20s every morning until Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

North Central Florida will wake up Sunday morning to mercury in the low to mid-20s, and the nightly low is expected to dip into the 20s until Thursday night/Friday morning. Even then, it will be only a slight, brief respite.

"Better have some logs for the fireplace," said Phil Peterson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. "For January, February and March, it looks like below-average temperatures. It looks like we may have a cold winter in store here."

The El Nino weather pattern - an unusual warming of Pacific waters at the equator - is responsible for conditions here that are expected to be colder and wetter than usual.

Tonight's low is expected to be in the mid-20s. Monday night's should be about 20. The overnight temperature is set to warm into the low 30s by Friday morning before dropping again.

Highs, meanwhile, are not expected to climb out of the 50s this week, Peterson said.

"The weather pattern as a result of El Nino has been very stormy. It looks as if the storms are exploding farther north off the northeastern U.S. coast, and that is allowing cold air to come down behind it into the Deep South," Peterson said. "The outlook for January calls for below normal temperatures and above average rainfall."

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