Brrrr! -135.8°F Measured at Earth's New Coldest Spot

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:23 PM GMT on December 10, 2013

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I’m in San Francisco this week for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest climate science conference. Over five thousand of the world’s top climate scientists are here, giving a staggering 10,000 talks and poster presentations. It’s total information overload, and I will only be able to offer this week but a small sampling of the incredible amount of science being presented here.

What is the coldest place in the world? It is a high ridge above 13,000 feet in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92.2 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night, announced polar scientist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, at a Monday press conference at the AGU conference. The official world cold record of minus 128.6 F (minus 89.2 C), set in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica will remain intact, though, since official records have to be measured by ground-based instruments. How cold is -135.8°F? That’s so cold that it would hurt to breathe, said Dr. Scambos in an AP interview. That’s also well below the -109°F temperature that dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) begins to sublimate into gaseous carbon dioxide. But don’t get your hopes up that we can use the newly-found record cold spot to take CO2 out of the air and solve global warming—you need a temperature of -220°F (-140°C) to freeze CO2 out the air into dry ice “snow” at the concentrations that CO2 exists at in our atmosphere (about 398 ppm.) Still, it is an intriguing concept to build giant refrigerators in Antarctica to do just that—something that has been proposed by Purdue climate scientist Ernest Agee, in a research paper titled, CO2 Snow Deposition in Antarctica to Curtail Anthropogenic Global Warming, published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology .


Figure 1. With remote-sensing satellites, scientists have found the coldest places on Earth, just off a ridge in the East Antarctic Plateau. The coldest of the cold temperatures dropped to minus 135.8 F (minus 93.2 C)--several degrees colder than the previous record. Image Credit: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center.


Video 1. The coldest place on earth. Data from NASA-USGS Landsat 8 satellite, and NASA's MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite. Image Credit:  NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Figure 2. In this spectacular photo from Antarctica taken by a NASA scientist on November 24, 2013, we see a lenticular cloud over a pressure ridge in the Antarctic sea ice. Lenticular clouds are a type of wave cloud. They usually form when a layer of air near the surface encounters a topographic barrier, gets pushed upward, and flows over it as a series of atmospheric gravity waves. Lenticular clouds form at the crest of the waves, where the air is coolest and water vapor is most likely to condense into cloud droplets. The bulging sea ice in the foreground is a pressure ridge, which formed when separate ice floes collided and piled up on each other. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Follow this week’s talks at AGU via the Internet
You can watch live streaming and recorded talks at this week’s AGU meeting—nearly 100 sessions (almost 600 presentations in total)--will be available live and on demand. Register here, and be sure to use code AGU13 for free access. You can also browse thousands of poster presentations at the poster site.
 
Amusing story: Metallica Has Officially Rocked on Every Continent Following Antarctica Gig on Sunday

Jeff Masters

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I apologize I didnt mean to make it sound like everyone's winter storm commentary was yawn-worthy.

Weather is what this blog is about!!




it's ok...although i enjoy most of the weather talk....we all have to understand this is a tropical weather blog and as such many are here only for talk about the tropics
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Quoting 475. FunnelVortex:


You think it will start early?

Nope, I think it will start on time.
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I apologize I didnt mean to make it sound like everyone's winter storm commentary was yawn-worthy.

Weather is what this blog is about!!
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 2617
Quoting 471. WaterWitch11:
this is the last place I would ever think of to get Metallica info on. :)


Me too, and now nothing else matters.
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Quoting 473. bappit:
Looks like an atmospheric river reaches from 10 degrees latitude up to Murmansk.


Looks about right.

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Quoting 470. FunnelVortex:


Hurricane Season 2014 im guessing


Don't get too excited for that one, imo. I have very low early expectations for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Who really knows though at this point?
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Quoting 465. opal92nwf:
I don't think there had been a lower point on here...This is when we lost a good half of the blog..

ohhhh 2014, what are you going to bring???


Oh god, do not remind us of that!
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Here we are, 202 days away from the Atlantic season, living on winter storm systems and climate change talk; how will we ever last



LMAO.......
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Quoting 474. 1900hurricane:

I've got 171 until that personally.


You think it will start early?
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 470. FunnelVortex:


Hurricane Season 2014 im guessing

I've got 171 until that personally.
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Looks like an atmospheric river reaches from 10 degrees latitude up to Murmansk.

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Quoting 469. opal92nwf:
Here we are, 202 days away from the Atlantic season, living on winter storm systems and climate change talk; how will we ever last????

Sorry for the random commentary, i'm just a little bored..

I should do something more productive than hopelessly stare at this blog which is probably only 1/4 to capacity.


Trololol.

Winter Storms are not that bad. The well-organized ones are pretty interesting, like Draco last year.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
this is the last place I would ever think of to get Metallica info on. :)
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Quoting 466. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


till what
do I dare ask


Hurricane Season 2014 im guessing
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Here we are, 202 days away from the Atlantic season, living on winter storm systems and climate change talk; how will we ever last????

Please excuse the random commentary, i'm just a little bored..

I should do something more productive than hopelessly stare at this blog which is probably only 1/4 to capacity.

Sorry for just being really annoying..
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 2617
Quoting 462. ncstorm:



LOL Nea..wasnt you just on here the other day talking about only NC, SC GA and Florida having record heat in December..thats not globally as you just put it..you crack me up..
Trying another "gotcha!", are you? I'd think you'd get tired after seeing most every one of them fall flat... ;-)

Now, what I said the other day was in response to someone who stated that the entire US was cold with the exception of Florida. I mentioned that most states in the Southeast were seeing record temps at the moment, a statement validated as true and accurate by the following map:

heat

Let me know when you need help clearing up any further confusion on your part...
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Florida has decided not to participate in the Month of December. Therefore, summer like temperatures will continue until at least the January time frame, where another decision will be made as to Florida's weather participation.
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Quoting 459. opal92nwf:
202 days


till what
do I dare ask
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53866
I don't think there had been a lower point on here...This is when we lost a good half of the blog..

ohhhh 2014, what are you going to bring???
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 2617
snow is coming soon!!
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Quoting 458. ricderr:
test image



it works...just a tad fast...makes it look like the US has gas
just trying different speeds and stuff so many different aspects of the models its hard to choose ones to make
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53866
Quoting 460. Neapolitan:
Based on what?

FWIW, the 'G' in 'AGW stands for 'global', not 'South Carolina', which comprises just 1/6149th--or 0.0163%--of the planet's surface. Just so you know...



LOL Nea..wasnt you just on here the other day talking about only NC, SC GA and Florida having record heat in December..thats not globally as you just put it..you crack me up..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15317
Some cold air over parts of Russia.
Verhojansk Russia is currently -47 degrees.

Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6916
Quoting 450. DoctorDave1:
Last 9 months S. Carolina had 5th coldest average temperature in the last 119 yrs. Not statistically possible in AGW scenario.

http://1.usa.gov/IPz94V

Note that S. Carolina has very little urban island bias compared to other U.S. locations.
Based on what?

FWIW, the 'G' in 'AGW stands for 'global', not 'South Carolina', which comprises just 1/6149th--or 0.0163%--of the planet's surface. Just so you know...
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202 days
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 2617
test image



it works...just a tad fast...makes it look like the US has gas
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Global Warming is a misleading term because people are led to believe that it means that every inch of the planet is rapidly overheating.

Some places will warm, and others will cool.

That's why I prefer calling it Climate Change




well stated
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test image

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53866
Quoting 454. Sfloridacat5:
Weather back to normal for Barrow Alaska. Snow and blowing snow, Temperature -5


Lol, I'm colder than Barrow (-7 here right now)
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Weather back to normal for Barrow Alaska. Snow and blowing snow, Temperature -5
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6916
453. flsky
Green volcanic lightning
Link
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Quoting 450. DoctorDave1:
Last 9 months S. Carolina had 5th coldest average temperature in the last 119 yrs. Not statistically possible in AGW scenario.

http://1.usa.gov/IPz94V

Note that S. Carolina has very little urban island bias compared to other U.S. locations.


Global Warming is a misleading term because people are led to believe that it means that every inch of the planet is rapidly overheating.

Some places will warm, and others will cool.

That's why I prefer calling it Climate Change.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
It looks to be a rainy christmas for my area while some further north will get the white powdery substance..still a ways out to watch but I remember in 2006 it poured rain on Christmas day..a lot of kids werent able to ride their new bikes, scooters and go carts..

rain!!


snow


Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15317
Last 9 months S. Carolina had 5th coldest average temperature in the last 119 yrs. Not statistically possible in AGW scenario.

http://1.usa.gov/IPz94V

Note that S. Carolina has very little urban island bias compared to other U.S. locations.
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... Wind Chill Advisory in effect from 6 PM this evening to 6 am
CST Thursday...

The National Weather Service in Milwaukee/Sullivan has issued a
Wind Chill Advisory... which is in effect from 6 PM this evening
to 6 am CST Thursday.

* Timing... the lowest wind chills will occur between 7 PM and 4 am
tonight.

* Wind chill values... lowest readings 18 to about 25 degrees
below zero. Winds will be 7 to 12 mph.

* Impacts... wind chills this low can cause frost bite to
unprotected skin in a matter of minutes. Hypothermia becomes a
concern if precautions are not taken.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Wind Chill Advisory means that very cold air and strong winds
will combine to generate low wind chills. This will result in
frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
If you must venture outdoors... make sure you wear a hat and
gloves.


Davis

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My forecast is getting more promising.

There are many chances of snow within the next ten days, I am going to keep an eye on them in case they are upcasted to something more... or less...
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
its look like a good snow storm for the northeast this weekend.
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446. eddye
storm tracker scott gfs has some cold air coming down 2 fl dec 20 through the 25
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1272
Quoting 441. ricderr:
scott....from the source i quoted


ORLANDO

Temperature
Max Temperature 79 F
Mean Temperature 75 F
Min Temperature 62 F


Maybe in the first week of December but the average is now 73 per the NWS in Melbourne. Either way 73 or 75 we are going to be average everyday except maybe tomorrow. Euro and now the 12Z GFS is really kicking up the heat again across FL.

THE ORLANDO CLIMATE NORMALS FOR TODAY
NORMAL RECORD YEAR
MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE (F) 73 90 1919
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE (F) 53 28 1898



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also from WU's almanac forecast and actual temps for orlando

1 Overcast
Actual: 73 | 62
Precip: 0.00
Average: 73 | 54
Precip: 0.03
2 Partly Cloudy
Actual: 73 | 61
Precip: 0.00
Average: 73 | 54
Precip: 0.04
3 Scattered Clouds
Actual: 77 | 55
Precip: 0.00
Average: 73 | 54
Precip: 0.04
4 Scattered Clouds
Actual: 80 | 61
Precip: 0.00
Average: 73 | 54
Precip: 0.04
5 Clear
Actual: 82 | 63
Precip: 0.00
Average: 73 | 54
Precip: 0.04
6 Fog
Actual: 84 | 66
Precip: 0.00
Average: 72 | 54
Precip: 0.05
7 Scattered Clouds
Actual: 82 | 66
Precip: 0.00
Average: 72 | 54
Precip: 0.05
8 Fog
Actual: 84 | 62
Precip: 0.00
Average: 72 | 54
Precip: 0.05
9 Scattered Clouds
Actual: 82 | 64
Precip: 0.01
Average: 71 | 54
Precip: 0.05
10 Partly Cloudy
Actual: 82 | 64
Precip: 0.00
Average: 71 | 53
Precip: 0.05
11 Scattered Clouds
Actual: 73 | 61
Precip: 0.00
Average: 70 | 53
Precip: 0.06
12 Partly Cloudy
Forecast: 72 | 54
Partly Cloudy
Average: 70 | 52
Precip: 0.06
13 Partly Cloudy
Forecast: 74 | 63
Partly Cloudy
Average: 69 | 52
Precip: 0.06
14 Partly Cloudy
Forecast: 81 | 65
Partly Cloudy
Average: 69 | 51
Precip: 0.06
15 Chance of Rain
Forecast: 79 | 63
Chance of Rain
Average: 68 | 51
Precip: 0.06
16 Chance of Rain
Forecast: 74 | 56
Chance of Rain
Average: 68 | 50
Precip: 0.06
17 Partly Cloudy
Forecast: 74 | -
Partly Cloudy
Average: 68 | 50
Precip: 0.06
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Quoting 312. Skyepony:
ex-30W

Wow, that's pretty cool. Can we keep tracking former 30W forever?
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442. eddye
storm tracker scott so the cold front comeing next friday
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1272
scott....from the source i quoted


ORLANDO

Temperature
Max Temperature 79 °F
Mean Temperature 75 °F
Min Temperature 62 °F
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Quoting 438. luvtogolf:


Great golfing weather! It's better than up north where it is down right cold!


Great beach weather as well. Going to hit the pool this weekend as my pool temp has risen to a more comfortable 75 degrees. It should feel refreshing with 85 degree temps both Saturday & Sunday.

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Wow!

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Quoting 437. StormTrackerScott:
Basically everyday of the next 7 days is projected to be "above average". We are on pace to have a record warm December in Orlando if this keeps up.



Great golfing weather! It's better than up north where it is down right cold!
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Basically everyday of the next 7 days is projected to be "above average". We are on pace to have a record warm December in Orlando if this keeps up.

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Quoting 435. ricderr:
keeper it shouldnt be 85 degrees in deceber in fl that not normal it should be high in the low 70 and upper 60



eddye.....not sure where you live but taking a look at orlando....the average daily high in dec is 75 by Wu's almanac.....and the next 7 day forecast period projects temps at just below that average with one day being above....one thing that sticks out is although some days have made new records they are not that high above the average temp


Average high for this date is 73

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
335 AM EST WED DEC 11 2013

.DISCUSSION...

CURRENT...
SFC HI PRES EXTENDING FROM THE MID ATLC TO THE RED RIVER VALLEY IS
PROVIDING THE SOLE IMPULSE TO A WEAK COLD FRONT PUSHING THRU THE
CENTRAL PENINSULA THIS MORNING...EARLY MRNG SFC OBS INDICATE THE
FRONTAL BNDRY IN THE VCNTY OF FORT PIERCE-PUNTA GORDA...CONFIRMED BY
A BAND OF HIGH H100-H85 RH JUST S OF THE I-4 CORRIDOR. SFC/LOW LVL
WINDS ALREADY SHIFTING TO THE NE BEHIND THE FRONT IN RESPONSE TO THE
RIDGE BUILDING OVER THE DEEP SOUTH. SFC DEWPOINTS DROP FROM THE
M/U60S AHEAD OF THE FRONT...TO THE L/M50S BEHIND IT. LITTLE IN THE
WAY OF RAIN OUTSIDE OF A PENCIL THIN BAND OF CONVECTION OFF THE
TREASURE COAST.

TODAY-TONIGHT...
AN ARCTIC HIGH PRES RIDGE BUILDING OUT OF THE NRN PLAINS WILL DRAW
THE POST FRONTAL RIDGE INTO ITS GRASP AND MERGE WITH IT OVER THE
MIDWEST. AS THIS HAPPENS...THE COLD FRONT WILL STALL AS IT LOSES ITS
ONLY SOURCE OF FORWARD MOMENTUM. HOWEVER...DESPITE THE NEARLY
SATURATED H100-H85 LYR...THE AIRMASS OVERHEAD IS ALMOST COMPLETELY
LACKING IN ANY MID/UPR LVL DYNAMIC OR THERMODYNAMIC SUPPORT. RUC
ANALYSIS SHOWS NO SIG MID LVL VORTICITY/UPR LVL DIVERGENCE TO SPEAK
OF...WHILE LAPSE RATES THRU THE H85-H50 LYR ARE LARGELY AOB 5.5C/KM.

LCL PROFILERS INDICATE STRONG NRLY WINDS JUST OFF THE DECK ACRS
CENTRAL/NORTH FL...BUT THESE WILL DIMINISH BY MIDDAY AS THE TWO
RIDGES UNDERGO THEIR MERGER. WRLY WINDS ABV H85 HAVE ALREADY
DIMINISHED BLO 15KTS ACRS THE CENTRAL PENINSULA AND WILL NOT BE ABLE
TO PRODUCE MUCH IN THE WAY OF MID LVL EVACUATION. ANY LOW TOPPED
SHRAS THAT MANAGE TO DVLP IN THE ONSHORE FLOW WILL NOT HAVE MUCH TO
SUSTAIN THEM ONCE THEY MOVE ONSHORE. WILL GO WITH SLGT CHC POPS
AREAWIDE...BUT IMPACT FROM ANY PRECIP WILL BE QUITE LOW.

ONSHORE FLOW WILL STRENGTHEN OVERNIGHT AS THE NEWLY MERGED POST
FRONTAL RIDGE DROPS INTO THE DEEP SOUTH AND TIGHTENS THE LCL PGRAD.
WHILE THIS SHOULD KEEP THE LOW LVL AIRMASS SUFFICIENTLY MIXED TO
PREVENT WIDESPREAD FOG FROM FORMING...THERE WILL BE A PD IN THE
PREDAWN HRS WHERE SFC/BNDRY LYR WINDS WILL BE LIGHT ENOUGH FOR
PATCHY FOG TO FORM.

WEAK COOL AIR ADVECTION ASSOCD WITH THE NE LOW LVL WINDS WILL KNOCK
A FEW DEGS OFF MAX TEMPS TODAY...STILL 4-8F ABV AVG WITH AFTN
READINGS IN THE M/U70S...EXCEPT L80S ARND THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE
REGION. LOW CLOUDS OVERNIGHT AND NE FLOW WILL COMBINE TO KEEP MIN
TEMPS IN THE L/M60S...10-12F ABV AVG.

THURSDAY...SFC HIGH PRESSURE PUSHING TOWARD THE TN VALLEY AND SE
STATES WILL INCREASE THE NNE LOW LVL FLOW AND PUSH A BAND OF LOW
CLOUDS THROUGH THE AREA INTO THE AFTERNOON WITH SOME CLEARING ACROSS
NRN SECTIONS IN THE LATE AFTERNOON. BREEZY NORTHERLY WINDS ARE
EXPECTED WITH WINDY CONDITIONS DEVELOPING AT THE BEACHES. ISOLATED
SHOWERS WILL MOVE SSW AND ONSHORE...WITH SLIGHTLY HIGHER SHOWER
CHANCES ALONG COASTAL SECTIONS UP TO 30 PERCENT. HIGH TEMPERATURES
WILL BE COOLER AND RANGE FROM AROUND 70 AT DAYTONA BEACH TO THE MID
70S FOR ORLANDO AND UPPER 70S ACROSS THE SRN COUNTIES.

FRIDAY...THE SFC HIGH CENTER NEAR THE NC COAST WILL PUSH OFFSHORE
WITH WINDS BECOMING EASTERLY. CONSIDERABLE LOW TO MID LVL CLOUDINESS
SHOULD PUSH ONSHORE FROM THE ATLANTIC WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS MOVING
ONSHORE FROM AROUND VERO BEACH SOUTH TO MARTIN COUNTY. HIGHS WILL BE
IN THE 70S.

SATURDAY...A PROGRESSIVE PATTERN AND MID LVL SHORTWAVE TROUGH
APPROACHING THE SOUTHEAST WILL ALLOW A SFC LOW PRESSURE AREA TO MOVE
FROM MS ACROSS AL TWD N GA INTO SAT EVENING. LOW LVL FLOW WILL VEER
TO SOUTHERLY ON SAT WITH HIGH TEMPS WARMING INTO THE LWR TO MID 80S.

A FEW SHOWERS MAY DEVELOP IN THE LATE AFTERNOON BUT WILL KEEP POPS
BELOW 15 PCT FOR NOW. SAT NIGHT... THE APPROACH OF THE MID LVL
SHORTWAVE AND SFC COLD FRONT MOVING THROUGH THE EASTERN FL BIG BEND
LATE WILL ALLOW FOR S CHC/CHC OF SHOWERS IN THE PREFRONTAL
AIRMASS.

SUNDAY-SUNDAY NIGHT...THE NEXT COLD FRONT WILL MOVE INTO E CENTRAL
FL SUNDAY OR SUNDAY NIGHT WITH THE 00Z ECMWF SLIGHTLY SLOWER THAN
THE GFS. MOSTLY CLOUDY SKIES EXPECTED WITH THE FRONT AND THE CHANCE
FOR SHOWERS IN THE 30-40 PCT RANGE. HIGHS SUNDAY EXPECTED TO AGAIN
BE WARM AHEAD OF THE FRONT BETWEEN 80-85 DEGS
. LOWS IN THE UPPER 50S
NORTH TO MID 60S SOUTH.

MON-WED...SFC HIGH PRESSURE ACROSS THE SE STATES WILL BE REINFORCED
INTO MID WEEK KEEPING N-NNE LOW LVL FLOW ACROSS THE AREA. 00Z ECM
WAS SLOWER TO MOVE FRONT THROUGH THE AREA SO HAVE NUDGED GFS POPS UP
A BIT AND GONE 30 PCT ALL AREAS MONDAY. BY TUE INTO WED...THE FRONT
SHOULD PUSH SOUTH OF THE STATE WITH A DRIER CONTINENTAL AIRMASS
TAKING HOLD WITH MORE SUNSHINE AND SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES WHICH
SHOULD RUN ABOVE NORMAL...IN THE MID 70S NORTH TO UPPER 70S SRN
SECTIONS.
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keeper it shouldnt be 85 degrees in deceber in fl that not normal it should be high in the low 70 and upper 60



eddye.....not sure where you live but taking a look at orlando....the average daily high in dec is 75 by Wu's almanac.....and the next 7 day forecast period projects temps at just below that average with one day being above....one thing that sticks out is although some days have made new records they are not that high above the average temp
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434. eddye
storm tracker scott im just praying when i go on vacation dec 20 in orlando.it will be cooler weather and nice and feel like christmas time
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1272
Quoting 428. StormTrackerScott:


We usually get a good solid 2 weeks or so of cold weather in January but that was years ago and lately it seems to be heating up come January so who knows.


Who knows... Maybe FL will get some snow if another one of these forms.... FL panhandle got 4 inches of snow from this system..... which broke a record holding since the late 1800s.

1993 STORM OF THE CENTURY:

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