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: 508 - 458

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

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!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HPC 4-5 day QPF forecast:

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
420. AussieStorm 2:30 AM GMT on January 12, 2010
Noughties bring driest decade on record to Melbourne


What are Noughties, Aussie?



a cooler way of saying 2000s. it's that decade we're in now, you know, the one between the ''tens'' and the ''nineties''.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
420. AussieStorm 2:30 AM GMT on January 12, 2010
Noughties bring driest decade on record to Melbourne


What are Noughties, Aussie?

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!!


Texas..... Normal??
Is that even legal to have those two words in the same sentence?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Friday will be our first day to break the 70 degree mark this month! If the Sun can come out on Saturday, we'll be even warmer.

Quoting Jeff9641:
If there is a big arctic outbreak it will affect either the western US or Central US NOT the eastern US anytime soon.


What makes you say that?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


Have a great day, stay cool!

Work is fully air conditioned so staying cool will be no problem. Only wish here at home was.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RMM34667:


LOL but that was a different decade. Seems like a lifetime ago!


Dallas Ft Worth, TX was 57F today. You will be back to normal by Wednesday!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I know one thing I have had a time trying to save my Strawberry Plants..... I have not had this much cold for a long time.... Where is that GW when you really need it....LOL

I just hope I get to make some Jam this year but it sure don't look that good right now....

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
499. flsky
Currently 32.5 in Daytona Beach Shores.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


You remember those temps .. back in the old days before GW, Florida used to have those days also :)


LOL but that was a different decade. Seems like a lifetime ago!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
I'm off to make some money/work. Stay warm everyone. Stay safe also. Cheers.


Have a great day, stay cool!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Jeff9641:
If there is a big arctic outbreak it will affect either the western US or Central US NOT the eastern US anytime soon.
goodie goodie.

This is "ridiculously frigid" :

Daytona Beach (Ponce Inlet), FL, Daytona Beach, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 7 sec ago
32.2 F
Clear
Windchill: 28 F
Humidity: 88%
Dew Point: 29 F
Wind: 4.0 mphfrom the WSW
Wind Gust: 4.0 mph
Pressure: 30.37 in (Steady)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 12 ft

and has gone on way too long.
'nite all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


You remember those temps .. back in the old days before GW, Florida used to have those days also :)


ROFL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm off to make some money/work. Stay warm everyone. Stay safe also. Cheers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


Ahh, Sunny and 82F, with East winds at 11 MPH!!


You remember those temps .. back in the old days before GW, Florida used to have those days also :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


Your afraid of her also are you, smart man, I know I am.
not afraid just know better
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
thats because who we will not mention asked for it


Your afraid of her also are you, smart man, I know I am.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
33.81°S 151.04°E 17m AMSL
Parramatta Forecast
Today 97°F
Tonight 75°F
Mostly sunny
Now
90.1°F rising
Updated at 14:00 EDT

Rydalmere Weather

33.81°S 151.04°E 17m AMSL
Parramatta Forecast
Today 97°F
Tonight 75°F
Mostly sunny
Now 90.7°F rising
Updated at 14:20 EDT
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's supposed to be 77 here friday and sat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:
Cancun :)


Thursday
Partly Cloudy. High: 28 °C . Wind East 18 km/h .
thats because who we will not mention asked for it
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:
Cancun :)


Thursday
Partly Cloudy. High: 28 °C . Wind East 18 km/h .


Ahh, Sunny and 82F, with East winds at 11 MPH!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Toronto (Centre of the Universe)

Thursday
Cloudy. Low -4C(24F). High 1C(34F).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cancun :)


Thursday
Partly Cloudy. High: 28 °C . Wind East 18 km/h .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like our troll is gone and he was a...
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:


No Orca, everybody loves you, even the WET God!! System glitch..All kidding aside, are you experiencing strong winds in your area?


Where we are physically located, we never really get wind.. unless is off the land. The Island is getting some high winds... and lots of rain though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Jay Leno "Headlines" -- Leno showed a newspaper photo of DC Capitol Bldg. -- the caption was "Snot Covered Capitol."
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
33.81°S 151.04°E 17m AMSL
Parramatta Forecast
Today 97°F
Tonight 75°F
Mostly sunny
Now
90.1°F rising
Updated at 14:00 EDT
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


No Orca, everybody loves you, even the WET God!! System glitch..All kidding aside, are you experiencing strong winds in your area?
if not i can crank it up a bit
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:
Hmmm my avatar keeps disappearing?
Think they are trying to tell me something?


No Orca, everybody loves you, even the WET God!! System glitch..All kidding aside, are you experiencing strong winds in your area?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting weatherbro:
Don't expect this thaw to last too long. The Siberian Express could very well reestablish itself late next week though early or mid February.

The Polar Vortex will retreat now. But not for long. This thaw should last a week(a week and a half at the most). Then The Greenland Block will restrengthen. Resume it's onslaught of potentially even colder weather!

But in the meantime, let the Pineapple Express show us what it's made of

Heck these same systems may very well bury the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast/Piedmont under copious amounts of snow! They don't have much of a warm-up(compared to the Plains which'll get back to normal-At last for a short bit before the next onslaught).


as pat would say WUnderful... if it is the case.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:
Hmmm my avatar keeps disappearing?
Think they are trying to tell me something?

Hey, Orca -- that was happening to me today, too.
It might come back after awhile, or Flood said you can log out of WU and then log back in.

What the heck was going on in here earlier?
(That's a rhetorical question...if I really wanted to know, I should read back posts.)

Good joke by the T-Dude, though.

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting Orcasystems:


they keep this up... and I will put up my Vacation pictures again :)

Hmmm 1.5 more sleeps..and off to Cancun :)


hmm Cancun sounds great (:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ElConando:
temp 30 degrees dewpoint 16 degrees.


You should drop down to 20-23F tonight!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Orcasystems:
Hmmm my avatar keeps disappearing?
Think they are trying to tell me something?

I see your avatar
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

our summer end at the end of February, who know what March will be like.


Hopefully, everything will return more towards normal. It's like the atmosphere/ocean currents have gone nuts!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:


Oh Orca, love ya' like a brother!!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, wind and rain, ha, ha, ha, ha!!

Here, have a smiley face kite



Hmm now where did I put that pellet gun :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:


the Wet God is removing your halo :P


they keep this up... and I will put up my Vacation pictures again :)

Hmmm 1.5 more sleeps..and off to Cancun :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
temp 30 degrees dewpoint 16 degrees.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Iron Mountain, Michigan (Airport)
Updated: 8:54 PM CST on January 11, 2010
19 °F
Overcast
Windchill: 5 °F
Humidity: 74%
Dew Point: 12 °F
Wind: 15 mph from the North
Pressure: 30.43 in (Rising)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Overcast 1600 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 1181 ft

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:
Hmmm my avatar keeps disappearing?
Think they are trying to tell me something?


the Wet God is removing your halo :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hmmm my avatar keeps disappearing?
Think they are trying to tell me something?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


Your a very polite teaser, and your heat wave will subside soon!!

our summer end at the end of February, who know what March will be like.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WOW, hardly a post on the record shattering cold. Time to move on to the BBC and Accu-
weather, have a nice delusion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2010/01/a-frozen-britain-turns-the-hea.shtml#comments
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ElConando:
could still get down to near 20 degrees though.


What is your current dew point? You're in the center of the Eastern Arctic ridge, that will leave on Tues/Wed, with calm winds, your temp can go as low as the dew point!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting AussieStorm:

What about me with my incessant teasing?


Your a very polite teaser, and your heat wave will subside soon!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
could still get down to near 20 degrees though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 508 - 458

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.