Unseasonably warm days are ahead

Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 8:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 8:10 p.m.

The wonderful weather that's in store for North Central Florida over the coming weekend is thanks to warm air coming all the way from the Pacific Ocean, the National Weather Service says.

While it was expected to dip into the mid-30s early this morning, warm temperatures anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees above normal are forecast over the weekend and for much of next week, said Phil Peterson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.

To what can we attribute the warmth? A change in the jet stream pattern, which should keep the cold air out of the Southeast for several days ahead, Peterson said.

The current jet stream pattern shows a very strong flow of cold air coming into the Southeast, which explains the cold nights of late, Peterson explained. "However, those very strong jet stream winds will lift to the north, and that's going to block the cold air from coming down.

"As a result," said Peterson, "it's going to bring more mild air out of the Pacific rather than cold air coming down from Canada."

"It looks like starting Friday that it's going to be a good 10 to 15 degrees above normal," Peterson said.

The postcard weather should last through Wednesday of next week: generally sunny with highs in the mid-70s, lows between 50 and 55.

Forecasters say there's a possibility of a few showers come Monday, with the most significant chance of rain coming next Thursday.

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