Deep freeze in the South continues

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

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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

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Iron Mountain, Michigan (Airport)
Updated: 1:54 AM CST on January 12, 2010
17 °F
Overcast
Windchill: 12 °F
Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 13 °F
Wind: 4 mph from the NNW
Pressure: 30.45 in (Rising)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Overcast 1200 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 1181 ft

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
516. presslord 4:01 AM GMT on January 12, 2010
Quoting tornadodude:
if it makes y'all feel better, I havent been above 25 for 12 straight days ha


I would have drunk myself to death by now...
Action: Quote | Ignore User


last time i saw 50 was the end of november
Keep what's 25?:)
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Soon you will see severe storms on the west coast of Florida. Just like in 98 and 82.
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The cold shocks was only part one of the winter. Now comes part two. The El Nino storms. I am sure anyone who lived in Florida back in 1998 will remember.
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Although this cold period is nearing its end. Its certainly leaving with a bang. A decent shot of reaching the upper teens at Tallahassee airport by sunrise. 21 degrees with 7 hours of clear sky and calm winds.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3722
Although the current forecsat for precip does not show a winter storm for the south...its too warm...

Global Model Link
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Here is the Forecast Temps for 7am Thursday......i would say we could be looking at a very large snow event along the Northern parts of the GUlf Coast states.....North Alabama and Georgia could get a doosy....



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Quoting TampaSpin:
WOW does this this blow up.....its all the way in the Silver and Gray..that is 4+ OUCH!




here is the latest closer detail run
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Quoting Bordonaro:


This is not a superstorm set up. The atmospheric dynamics support heavy rain/strong gusty winds/some severe weather, no large scale outbreak. The atmosphere is just gonna get loaded with plenty of moisture. Anywhere from 2-6 inches + of rain is possible from S TX, S LA, S MS, into FL.


Not sure i agree with you....but, we will see....


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Quoting TampaSpin:
WOW does this this blow up.....its all the way in the Silver and Gray..that is 4+ OUCH!




GFSx scenario brings a bucketload of water to the central and eastern panhandle.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3722
Quoting bdkennedy1:
I could be wrong, but gigantic icicles don't form unless there's a lot of moisture - so it was either raining before it dipped below freezing or a lot of idiots left their irrigation systems running.


I doubt much of any of it was due to farmers ignorance. Frost and ice can form without rain falling.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3722
WOW does this this blow up.....its all the way in the Silver and Gray..that is 4+ OUCH!


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BioChemist:
thanks guys! last night some people were thinking it could mirror the 93 storm!


This is not a superstorm set up. The atmospheric dynamics support heavy rain/strong gusty winds/some severe weather, no large scale outbreak. The atmosphere is just gonna get loaded with plenty of moisture. Anywhere from 2-6 inches + of rain is possible from S TX, S LA, S MS, into FL.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I could be wrong, but gigantic icicles don't form unless there's a lot of moisture - so it was either raining before it dipped below freezing or a lot of idiots left their irrigation systems running.
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Quoting Willow13:
Sad day for turtles :-(
Over 1500 sea turtles have stranded in Brevard county from the cold.
In the panhandle of Florida on the Gulf south of Tallahassee approx 600 sea turtles...dead from the cold.


Nature's handiwork
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Sad day for turtles :-(
Over 1500 sea turtles have stranded in Brevard county from the cold.
In the panhandle of Florida on the Gulf south of Tallahassee approx 600 sea turtles...dead from the cold.
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Anyone here? Taking a break from "fixing" a "professionals" report...you know, it takes about 10,000 hours to become and expert at anything, but in my line of work it holds especially true...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
strong area of precip shown passing over tampa on that one 3 poss 4 inch totals that would be a lot of rain in a short time with a hard cold ground well you get the picture


Yep I get you sir. Although I rained about .3 of a n inch thurs day last week it still would be fairly dry. Still a lot of time to see where this thing will land.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3722
thanks guys! last night some people were thinking it could mirror the 93 storm!
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Quoting ElConando:
The low shown there is 1003mb KOG.
strong area of precip shown passing over tampa on that one 3 poss 4 inch totals that would be a lot of rain in a short time with a hard cold ground well you get the picture
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Only midnight and its 22 degrees dew point at 16.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3722
The low shown there is 1003mb KOG.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3722
536. Skyepony (Mod)
Biochemist~ Isolated severe storms are possible, maybe something stronger but dewpoints in the 60s..kinda lack of instability & low level moisture.. not looking so likely for derecho or big severe outbreak.

The real memorable El Nino Fl severe weather events usually start in February.
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Quoting BioChemist:
Is there still a possibility of a large derecho type storm this weekend? I dont see as much talk of it right tonight?

Also, anyone in Florida hear anything on how the Snook population has faired this weekend? I hope well.

Capt. Scott Moore seemed worried.


With all due respect we could have a few Tornadic Thunderstorms this weekend along the north Gulf coast and Central FL..... Could be as much as 6" + in some locations....

Taco :0)
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Quoting BioChemist:
Is there still a possibility of a large derecho type storm this weekend? I dont see as much talk of it right tonight?

Also, anyone in Florida hear anything on how the Snook population has faired this weekend? I hope well.

Capt. Scott Moore seemed worried.

I had no idea -- this ain't right!

Poachers Grabbing Cold-Stunned Fish From Waters
Posted: 6:06 pm EST January 11, 2010Updated: 6:54 pm EST January 11, 2010

I'm out...good night all.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting BioChemist:
Is there still a possibility of a large derecho type storm this weekend? I dont see as much talk of it right tonight?

Also, anyone in Florida hear anything on how the Snook population has faired this weekend? I hope well.

Capt. Scott Moore seemed worried.


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Is there still a possibility of a large derecho type storm this weekend? I dont see as much talk of it right tonight?

Also, anyone in Florida hear anything on how the Snook population has faired this weekend? I hope well.

Capt. Scott Moore seemed worried.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PcolaDan:


Wonder where the dog was headed though, he went different direction than all the people. The first guys reaction was priceless. Turned as soon as the dog flew past, 2 seconds later he's up and moving, gives a dramatic pause as the shaking starts, then is out like a flash.

p.s. youtube is easy to post - copy the embed then paste directly to the comment section - no link or image or anything


HA, you're right! TV wannabe, lol. Me -- I think I'd follow the dog.

Thanks for directions for posting youtube. It sounds easy...please stand by for the trouble reports I'll be sending to your WU mail when I give it a try!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting RMM34667:
mans' best friend - dog senses earthquake

I don't know how to post those fancy links that you can just click on play!



Wonder where the dog was headed though, he went different direction than all the people. The first guys reaction was priceless. Turned as soon as the dog flew past, 2 seconds later he's up and moving, gives a dramatic pause as the shaking starts, then is out like a flash.

p.s. youtube is easy to post - copy the embed then paste directly to the comment section - no link or image or anything
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
My entry is closed for comments for awhile as I take a break, but feel free to razz me in Wu-mail, a lot do anyway..LOL

A community always rallies for good in times of distress,and "here" is a fine example of that.

Semper Fi...

Ooo-Rah..

Big Duke NOLA-7,

Out.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
516. presslord 4:01 AM GMT on January 12, 2010
Quoting tornadodude:
if it makes y'all feel better, I havent been above 25 for 12 straight days ha


I would have drunk myself to death by now...
Action: Quote | Ignore User


last time i saw 50 was the end of november
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Tis a good thing you do, Pat, but dang, I was looking forward to some major razzing here on your birthday! Try to check your own blog on your big day if you have a minute. Have a good time and a nice mini-vacation, too...going anywhere special?

I wasn't on during troll-time, but his posts are gone and it looks like the troops rallied. Semper Fi!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting tornadodude:


LOL! youre too funny!

and I have no idea about the drinking age

Just as well!

Your roads been blowing around lately? I don't remember the exact quote from that funny weather report you posted, but it was almost as good as the 50 percent under water running gag.

OOPS...g'night...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
I can say without any doubt,from personal experience,that a Good Dog will go above and beyond his or her own self and do what they have to,especially in times of well,..complete hopelessness and calamity.

I'll be back after the coming weekend as were taking some time off to concentrate on the NOLA portlight thrift store start up,and a Vacation for my B-day.

Thanx for the support earlier tonight and never take troll bait...here,or in the actual Physical world.









Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344


well time to head to bed, I have a class at 7:30 tomorrow morning, :P but it is my only class of the day (:

have a goodnight everyone!
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Quoting RMM34667:
mans' best friend - dog senses earthquake

I don't know how to post those fancy links that you can just click on play!


I don't know how yet, either, but that is cool.
Would be a good post for Ike's "Dog Blog."
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Unless you got a fake I.D., you haven't been above 19 for 3 days.

Question: Is the legal drinking age 21 in the whole country now, even for beer and wine?


LOL! youre too funny!

and I have no idea about the drinking age
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HAH! Walmart is pulling the cadmium-laced children's jewelry off the shelves!
Must have been my blog (as if).
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting tornadodude:
if it makes y'all feel better, I havent been above 25 for 12 straight days ha


Unless you got a fake I.D., you haven't been above 19 for 3 days.

Question: Is the legal drinking age 21 in the whole country now, even for beer and wine?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
mans' best friend - dog senses earthquake

I don't know how to post those fancy links that you can just click on play!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I luv Betty Boop!

Oops, we have flurries...local met just "promised" one more cold day, and then the pattern changes. He'd better be right...or I'll, I'll, well, I'll bust his chops in my Blog. (horrors)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting presslord:


I would have drunk myself to death by now...


the cold combined with ten inches of snow on the ground... I love winter, but a warm day would be grand
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Quoting tornadodude:
if it makes y'all feel better, I havent been above 25 for 12 straight days ha


I would have drunk myself to death by now...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
503. He doesn't believe there will be another Arctic outbreak affecting Florida.

Models point at the first-half of Feb for the next Arctic Incursion! Eventually, it will seep into FL..
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
if it makes y'all feel better, I havent been above 25 for 12 straight days ha
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Ah, thank you, Orca. I just noticed Aussie said he had to go to work.

Does seem like the play on words, i.e., "Naughties"...was intentional. I had to shake my head and look twice.


I know, you that is was something, ya' know, a lil' "naughty"!!

Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting presslord:


...as if you don't know what 'naughties' are...

Portlight fundraisers? (Blink, blink...borrowed Orca's halo.)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting Orcasystems:


Texas..... Normal??
Is that even legal to have those two words in the same sentence?


Orca, click you heels three times and say, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home"!

Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
420. AussieStorm 2:30 AM GMT on January 12, 2010
Noughties bring driest decade on record to Melbourne


What are Noughties, Aussie?



...as if you don't know what 'naughties' are...
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Quoting Orcasystems:


a cooler way of saying 2000s. it's that decade we're in now, you know, the one between the ''tens'' and the ''nineties''.

Ah, thank you, Orca. I just noticed Aussie said he had to go to work.

Does seem like the play on words, i.e., "Naughties"...was intentional. I had to shake my head and look twice.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting Bordonaro:


Dallas Ft Worth, TX was 57F today. You will be back to normal by Wednesday!!


thanks! The knowledge that "this too will pass" helps!
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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.