Deep freeze in the South continues

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:17 PM GMT on January 11, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

The Deep South shivered through a ridiculously frigid weekend, with low temperature records crumbling over much of Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. This morning, record lows for the date fell in Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Tallahassee, and St. Petersburg. The most extreme low temperature record this morning was set in Key West, where the mercury fell to 42°F at 5am--the second coldest temperature ever observed in Key West. This is just 1° warmer than the all-time coldest temperature observed in Key West--41° in January of 1981 and 1873. Widespread reports of sleet and snow flurries accompanied the cold blast across Central Florida on Saturday, the eighth snow event in Florida since 2000, according to Wikipedia. It remains to be seen how much damage the $9.3 billion Florida citrus industry will see because of the cold blast, which is the most severe in Florida since the December 1989 cold wave that devastated the citrus industry. Temperatures below the 28° that causes fruit damage affected some citrus-growing areas again this morning, for the third consecutive morning.


Figure 1. Ice encases citrus in Altoona, Florida. Image taken Sunday, January 10, 2010 by wunderphotographer CAVU.

Intense and long-lasting cold
In Texas, two airports tied all-time January low temperature records on Saturday morning--Hondo, who's 12°F tied the record set January 11, 1982, and Cotulla La Salle, which hit 16°F, tying the record set January 13, 1975. Most of Texas' airports set daily low temperature records on Saturday morning. Saturday's low in Waco of 8°F broke the previous record of 15° for the date, and was the first time Waco has been in the single digits since the -4°F reading on December 23, 1989. Not only has the South's cold been intense, it has been exceptionally long-lasting. Montgomery, Alabama has had a low temperature below 25° nine consecutive days, breaking the old mark of seven straight days set in January 2001. With the cold snap only grudgingly scheduled to release its grip on the South, Montgomery can expect to run their streak of sub-25° lows to at least eleven straight days this week. Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida now have their second longest streak of days with a minimum temperature below freezing, at nine and eight days, respectively. Pensacola may equal or top their record of eleven straight days (set in January 1940) later this week, but Mobile is unlikely to break their record of fifteen straight days (set in February 1940). Also of note is that Key West has seen five consecutive days with low temperatures below 50 degrees (January 7th - 11th). This is the second longest such streak recorded in Key West, one day short of the record six-day streak on December 1 - 6, 1876. Key West has a decent chance of tying that record on Tuesday morning, when the low should fall to 50 or below.

A nicer beach weekend in Antarctica than Central Florida
Saturday's high and low temperatures in Orlando and Daytona Beach, Florida were 40° and 30°F. Tampa's high and low were 42°F and 29°F. Under sunny skies and light winds less than 10 mph, Saturday's high and low temperature at San Martin Base, Antarctica were 44° and 34°F. Gray, cloudy skies with winds gusting to 16 - 21 mph greeted beach goers at the beaches near Daytona Beach and Tampa, so it was a much nicer day at the beach in the Antarctic Peninsula than in Central Florida on Saturday (the Florida Chamber of Commerce loves stats like that!) Nice beach weather in Antarctica continued through Sunday, with sunny San Martin, Antarctica (high 41°, low 35°) recording an average temperature warmer than most stations in Central Florida. In all fairness, it is summer in Antarctica, and the ocean temperatures in Florida were a bit warmer than in Antarctica.

A major pattern shift coming
As I noted in my previous post, a sharp kink in the jet stream and a strong negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation is responsible for this winter's cold blast over eastern North America and Europe. The ridge of high pressure that has been blocking the west-to-east motion of weather systems over the past ten days is weakening, though, and a major shift in the winter weather pattern is in store for the Northern Hemisphere by late this week. A more typical El Niño pattern will set up, with the jet stream diving southward over California, bringing a strong flow of moist, Pacific air to the West Coast. A strong low pressure system will also bring heavy rain to the Gulf Coast on Friday and Saturday. Temperatures will slowly moderate across Europe and the Midwest and Eastern U.S. this week as the pattern gradually shifts, and more ordinary winter weather can be expected in these regions by next weekend.


Figure 2. Departure of the surface temperature from average for the first eight days of 2010 shows much colder than average conditions were present over the Midwest and Southern U.S., much of Europe, and Central Asia. Much warmer than average temperatures were present over the Northwest U.S., Greenland, the Arctic, and Southern Asia. A sharp kink in the jet stream was responsible for the temperature anomaly pattern. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

Jeff Masters

Breakfast for one (earthlydragonfly)
Taken in Wintergarden Florida. Enjoy Mark
Breakfast for one
South Florida Freeze (dudleydocker)
This passes for icicles in south Florida.....
South Florida Freeze
Gainesville Deep Freeze (gatorgal)
On the campus at the University of Florida's
Gainesville Deep Freeze

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 58 - 8

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13Blog Index

Help -- My avatar seems to have disappeared(?) Don't know if it's temporary or perm. Others mentioned similar problems a day or so ago. Is there a shortcut to getting it back other than re-loading from the get-go??

TIA.

Good goin', Water Witch!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I just now received this and thought I'd share:

Dear Mrs:

I received your letter expressing your opposition to an amendment offered by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to the "Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act of 2010" (H.R. 2847). I appreciate hearing from you and apologize for the delay in my response.

Senator Hutchison proposed an amendment to H.R. 2847 that would increase funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) by $179 million and reduce funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by the same amount. Please be aware that Senator Hutchison's amendment was not accepted as a part of the "CJS Appropriations Act of 2010" as passed by the Senate on November 5, 2009.

The impact of global warming on our oceans and natural resources is a very serious concern for us both. While I support the funding that SCAAP provides for California, I also recognize that the importance of ensuring adequate funding of NOAA. The agency plays a critical role in monitoring climate change, managing our fisheries resources, restoring our coastal ecosystems and supporting marine commerce.

You may be interested to know that the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act included $4.7 billion in funding for NOAA. This bill was passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by the President on December 16, 2009 (Public Law 111-218).

Again, thank you for writing. Please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841 if you have any questions or additional thoughts.



Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i guess if there was any question about the citrus crops being damaged, the above images should answer that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
55. IKE
Warming up nicely outside. Temps approaching 40 already!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting ElConando:
36.5 degrees right now in Tallahassee had a record 14 degrees this morning due to very calm winds.


now its 38 degrees. Projected high of 49.

BTW happy birthday to you Aggie!
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
36.5 degrees right now in Tallahassee had a record 14 degrees this morning due to very calm winds.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Saw what you posted in the last blog atmo. Hopefully this storm continues to moderate or at least not get stronger on the model runs. Things can always surprise us.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Quoting AussieStorm:

Say if I had a very long hose,say 1000feet, and at one end I poured 212F(100C) water. The air inside the hose and around the hose was 32F(0C). How much hose would It take for the water to go from boiling temp to frozen solid.

Honestly, unless the flow is VERY low, it is unlikely to freeze at all in that scenario. the hose will generate friction, which will both slow down the water and heat it up a tiny bit. So.. unless you have an incredibly long hose and a HUGE amount of pressure behind the water... yeah, it ain't freezing. Just very cold.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
44: Thanks, Bob.

G'Nite Aussie.


You are welcome, we're having a heat wave in Arlington, TX! It's 42F.

What do you think of the late week storm, it is looking like a pertty good storm for Fr/Sa?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:




Happy Birthday Atmo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
44: Thanks, Bob.

G'Nite Aussie.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This morning, a bit of mixing due to winds could have been worth up to 10 C (warmer) at the surface. (or ~18 F)

Sounding from 6 am CST at Slidell:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Wait! What about that beer run you were going to make! :)

Not at 3:30am, nothing is open at this time of night in this big city.
Goodnight
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting AussieStorm:
WU-Email me the answer... I'm going to bed, my brain want to sleep and so does the rest of my body.
Goodnight all, catch ya's on the flip side.


Wait! What about that beer run you were going to make! :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Atmoaggie, Happy Birthday :0)

The weather is real cold still, this Arctic airmass needs to leave the country, like NOW.

Don't want your pizza to get cold.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks for the update Dr. Masters!

howdy everyone
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WU-Email me the answer... I'm going to bed, my brain want to sleep and so does the rest of my body.
Goodnight all, catch ya's on the flip side.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting jeffs713:

Well, two things.

First off, water at any temp will freeze at 0C, but there are lots of other variables.
1. is it pure water? Or are there impurities like salts?
2. how deep is the water? (deeper water takes longer to freeze, since the entire container has to drop to 0C)
2a. Are you just looking for the surface to freeze, or for it to freeze solid?
3. is the water moving? or standing still? (moving water takes longer to freeze, if at all)


If it was falling, you have to consider that as pressure reduces, the ability of water to freeze changes. Also, as a column of water falls, it becomes increasingly likely to both evaporate (slowly at 0C), and also break into smaller and smaller droplets, which makes the water easier to freeze.

Say if I had a very long hose,say 1000feet, and at one end I poured 212F(100C) water. The air inside the hose and around the hose was 32F(0C). How much hose would It take for the water to go from boiling temp to frozen solid.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
These are Pictures from Saturday Morning from Orlando, FL on 1-8-2010 during the winter mix.

Sleet Pellet


This was taken at 9am. It was 36 at 8am. It had dropped 2.4 degrees in one hour.


Freezing rain starting to form ice.


Snow, Sleet, and Freezing Rain areas around Central Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning all

A quick hello from the "chilly" NW Caribbean. Although we are warm compared to Fla. and points North it was 64 F at 7 this morning. When you are only 19 degrees N of the equator that underscores just how pervasive this cold snap is. Winds near 25 mph out of the NNE make it feel like the fifties as most of us live and work on or near the coast where the onshore wind is strongest.

The local forecast is for a return to the 80s late this week. Can't come soon enough.

Big swells rolling in everywhere except the South coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SQUAWK:


Sorry Aussie, not trying to be a smart a$$ here but the question still does not make sense to me. Are you asking that if 212F water is poured from a container how far will it have to fall in 32F air before it will freeze?

Well, two things.

First off, water at any temp will freeze at 0C, but there are lots of other variables.
1. is it pure water? Or are there impurities like salts?
2. how deep is the water? (deeper water takes longer to freeze, since the entire container has to drop to 0C)
2a. Are you just looking for the surface to freeze, or for it to freeze solid?
3. is the water moving? or standing still? (moving water takes longer to freeze, if at all)


If it was falling, you have to consider that as pressure reduces, the ability of water to freeze changes. Also, as a column of water falls, it becomes increasingly likely to both evaporate (slowly at 0C), and also break into smaller and smaller droplets, which makes the water easier to freeze.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr. Masters, how rare are these types of artic intrusions for the Sunshine State?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sorry, my mind as slowed to a crawl, probably cause it 3:15am. Should probably be in bed but I feel to hot to sleep.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting JeffMasters:


It appears that the current cold pattern is due to the North Atlantic Oscillation/Arctic Oscillation, natural patterns of variability in the atmosphere, but at extreme amplitude.

Jeff Masters

Does that mean it's coming lower in the atmosphere than normal?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting SQUAWK:


Sorry Aussie, not trying to be a smart a$$ here but the question still does not make sense to me. Are you asking that if 212F water is poured from a container how far will it have to fall in 32F air before it will freeze?

That is correct.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting AussieStorm:

let me clarify the question. At what height will boiling water freeze when its poured out and the air temp is 32F(0C)?


Sorry Aussie, not trying to be a smart a$$ here but the question still does not make sense to me. Are you asking that if 212F water is poured from a container how far will it have to fall in 32F air before it will freeze?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
32. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting TampaSpin:
Nice job Dr. Masters. But, does this have anything to do with Global Warming? Just courious as too your opinion!


It appears that the current cold pattern is due to the North Atlantic Oscillation/Arctic Oscillation, natural patterns of variability in the atmosphere, but at extreme amplitude.

Jeff Masters
Quoting AussieStorm:

I was being serious.


Nothing about height, but thought you might enjoy this article.Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SQUAWK:


Boiling hot water never freezes.

let me clarify the question. At what height will boiling water freeze when its poured out and the air temp is 32F(0C)?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
29. DVG
Bottomed out 16 at Cecil Field west Jax
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I was being serious.


Boiling hot water never freezes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Happy B! atmoaggie, Hope you are staying warm.

Thanks, Gro. I actually like the cold, myself.

Though, this basement has no idea what the temp is topside...comfy warm in here.

Back L8R.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

Well, that was a carrying on joke from months back...

You asked about a height at which boiling water freezes in air at exactly freezing. Given the heat involved to make water boil...sounds more like a funny riddle than a serious question. (seems that I guess wrong about that)
Please explain?

I was being serious.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting atmoaggie:

Thanks goodness for the sunlight. A little more bearable once it came up. We went from 15 to 25 F in SE LA from 8 am to 9 am...



Happy B! atmoaggie, Hope you are staying warm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

what.. please explain

Well, that was a carrying on joke from months back...

You asked about a height at which boiling water freezes in air at exactly freezing. Given the heat involved to make water boil...sounds more like a funny riddle than a serious question. (seems that I guess wrong about that)
Please explain?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
...yes...come August...if any of you hear me griping about Lowcountry heat please just beat the snot outta me...

I'll just send you a flask of cold Sydney air to remind you.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
...yes...come August...if any of you hear me griping about Lowcountry heat please just beat the snot outta me...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

50% below sea level?

sorry,,, can you please explain
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting AussieStorm:

Has anyone tried to find out at what height does boiling hot water freeze when the air temp is at 32F(0C)???

50% below sea level?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It was 19 degrees this morning when I got up in Valrico, FL just outside of Tampa. I am sick and tired of being sick and cold....bring back the Florida Heat!!!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tampa set a record yesterday with it's 9th consecutive day of staying below 60. That streak will come to an end on Thursday at an amayzing 12 days of below 60 temperatures.

Also, low temps in Tampa have been below 40degree for 10 consecutive days.

Also, Dr. M said that Tampa's high was 42 on Saturday. That was at Sabal Park. At Tampa Intl the high was 37. A weatherbug station near my house in Safety Harbor had a high of 36 on Saturday.

We do live in Florida?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Has anyone tried to find out at what height does boiling hot water freeze when the air temp is at 32F(0C)???
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Thanks Dr. Masters for the update!

Good morning everyone.

I had a low temperature of 19.8 degrees at 7:15 a.m. this morning.

This is the coldest temperature of the season thus far at my north Jax, FL home location.

I have had freezes for 10 of the first 11 days of 2010 at my home location. Man , I hope the projections are correct and that a respite from Old Man Winter is soon upon us!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting Chicklit:
Good Morning, Dr. Masters.
Those of you in Michigan are used to these cold temps!

I found a funny looking (furry) insect feet up on my balcony this morning. Am wondering how this prolonged cold snap is going to affect wildlife here in Florida where we're used to much milder temps and shorter periods of cold!

To my estimation, this wave has lasted about three weeks, and I am glad to hear there is an end to it in sight.

It was 32 degrees in Daytona at about 8 a.m.
In 2.5 hrs., temp has risen 12 degrees to 44.


Thanks goodness for the sunlight. A little more bearable once it came up. We went from 15 to 25 F in SE LA from 8 am to 9 am...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Me too! Cleared out my stock yesterday during the Packers / Cardinals playoff game.

I can't wait to see what's on sale! :)

I cleaned mine out cause it was 36C(95F) 3 days in a row.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting RitaEvac:
Pretty sad when Florida is colder than Antarctica

Sad?
1. How could that make you sad?
2. If that makes you sad, how do you survive the day?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I'm all out of cold beer, need to go to the liquor store to restock.


Me too! Cleared out my stock yesterday during the Packers / Cardinals playoff game.

I can't wait to see what's on sale! :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Thanks, doc.

Pretty cold once you get inland in Antarctica, even just as little inland as Orlando...though the coastal comparison is interesting.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I had FROST this morning, lol. I moved to South Florida to avoid frost. Thanks Doc. Local news is full of warnings about crop damage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Morning, Dr. Masters.
Those of you in Michigan are used to these cold temps!

I found a funny looking (furry) insect feet up on my balcony this morning. Am wondering how this prolonged cold snap is going to affect wildlife here in Florida where we're used to much milder temps and shorter periods of cold!

To my estimation, this wave has lasted about three weeks, and I am glad to hear there is an end to it in sight.

It was 32 degrees in Daytona at about 8 a.m.
In 2.5 hrs., temp has risen 12 degrees to 44.

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11272

Viewing: 58 - 8

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
75 °F
Partly Cloudy