72° in New York City; Avalanche rips Colorado highway

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:12 PM GMT on January 06, 2007

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The heat is on in New York City! The temperature soared to 72° at New York's Central Park Saturday, tying their all-time warmest January temperature ever. New York City has hit 70 degrees in January only twice before since record keeping began in 1869--on January 4, 1932 (70°), and on January 26, 1950 (72°). The 72° reading is a full 34° above their normal high of 38. Records were smashed all over the Northeast today. Philadelphia reached 73° and Newark hit 72°. The all time record for January warmth was 74 °in both cities, set on January 26, 1950. Hartford, Connecticut hit 72,° besting their warmest January temperature ever--70, °set on January 14, 1932. How unusual is this winter? La Guardia airport broke their all-time record for the date (59) °at 6am this morning, when the minimum temperature is usually measured! La Guardia went on to post their warmest January temperature ever, 72°. New York City has not seen a single flake of snow this winter, surpassing the winter of 1877-1878 for the longest stretch without snow (a trace of snow was finally measured on January 4, 1878 that winter). New York City averages 22.4 inches of snow per year. While the current weather forecast does show some colder air moving into New York and most of the U.S. over the next week, no snow is forecast for New York City for at least another week.

The reason for the warmth? A moderate El Nino event is adding a tremendous amount of heat to the globe this winter, and has helped displace the jet stream farther to the north than usual. Global warming is also partly to blame, along with natural variability in the Earth's weather. I also believe that the on-going melting of the Arctic Ice Cap may have contributed to this winter's warmth, although it is difficult to know how much so without doing detailed model studies. Record low levels of sea ice in the Arctic in November and December have exposed much larger areas of open water than usual. The open ocean water provides a tremendous source of heat to the atmosphere, and the extra moisture from the open ocean areas creates cloud cover that insulates the surface. This has allowed less cold Arctic air than usual to form over the Northern Hemisphere. However, now that we are well into the coldest part of winter, the Arctic sea ice has frozen up more. This, combined with the natural cooling due to the 24-hour darkness that continues over the pole, is allowing a large area of cold air to form over the pole. The latest runs of the GFS computer model show that this Arctic air will plunge southwards over North America during the next two weeks, bringing near-normal winter conditions to the U.S. and Canada during the second and third weeks of January. However, exceptionally warm conditions will continue over most of Europe and Asia during this period.

Colorado's tough winter continues: huge avalanche buries cars
Denver's third major snowstorm of the winter brought up to 8 inches of snow to the Denver area today. The heavy snow triggered a major avalanche 60 miles west of Denver that buried a 200-foot wide section of U.S. Highway 40 to a depth of 15 feet. Two cars plunged over the edge, but all eight people inside were rescued. The avalanche occurred near 11,307-foot-high Berthoud Pass. Colorado has had a lot snow, thanks to a kink in the jet stream that has put the predominant storm track over the state. However, the weather has not been very cold--the average temperature in Denver during December was 1.4° above normal, thanks to warm weather that moved into the region before and after each major storm. About 95% of the U.S. had above-normal temperatures in December.

2007 to be warmest year on record?
There is a 60% chance that 2007 will be the warmest year on record, according to a forecast issued by the United Kingdom Meteorological Office on January 4. The forecasters cited the combined influence of the continuing global warming trend, and the presence of a moderate El Nino event. "Even a moderate (El Nino) warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top," said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia. The warmest years on record were 2005 and 1998, when the global average temperature was 1.2°F higher than the long-term average of 57°F. Given the remarkable warmth across not only North America this January, but also Europe and Asia, I think that a 40% chance of a warmest year ever is a reasonable forecast, but 60% might be too high. Not all El Nino events create a big increase in global temperatures.

I'll talk more about the amazing warmth of this winter on Tuesday afternoon, when the National Climatic Data Center releases their U.S. statistics for December of 2006.

Jeff Masters

Where is Winter? (CarmelHillHopson)
Daffodils coming up, temperatures 30 degrees above normal, and spring like thunder showers. Not bad for the 15th day of winter.
Where is Winter?
Where is Winter? (CarmelHillHopson)
Daffodils coming up, temperatures 30 degrees above normal, and spring like thunder showers. Not bad for the 15th day of winter.
Where is Winter?
January daffodils (wsmorris)
I know some daffodils bloom early, but I've never seen them bloom outdoors on January 7!
January daffodils

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444. Thunderstorm2
9:19 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Accuweather = Truthiness...
i would say about 5%
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
443. Patrap
3:17 PM CST on January 09, 2007
Accuweather = Truthiness...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
442. Thunderstorm2
9:15 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
But they place invests on systems like that just incase that something does just happen. I've seen it done before.
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
440. Tazmanian
1:13 PM PST on January 09, 2007
Thunderstorm2 and there wont be a Invest on it hurricane year is overe in tell jun
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439. Thunderstorm2
9:11 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
for Accuweather thats a alright forecast
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
438. weatherboykris
9:09 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
I personally like East coast of Florida as a target this year.Think 2004,not 2005 when most storms went towards the Gulf.
You know something weird about this forecast Link is that looking at the long range GFS maps,it actually seems reasonable to me.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
437. Thunderstorm2
9:06 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
That system near Hawaii looks interesting
there is no Invest placed on it
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
436. Tazmanian
1:05 PM PST on January 09, 2007
Thunderstorm2 hello
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435. Thunderstorm2
9:04 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Hi again everyone
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
434. Tazmanian
12:58 PM PST on January 09, 2007
weatherboykris i have seen your blog so oh will be any for a hurricane land fall this year TX??? the gulf cost??? FL ??? up the E cost???

oh has the higher ch of a hurricane land fall that is what i am trying to say
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432. weatherboykris
8:55 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Taz and Skye, go see my 2007 hurricane forecast at my blog unless you have already.It includes landfall probabilites for 6 different US regions.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
431. Patrap
2:55 PM CST on January 09, 2007
5
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
430. Tazmanian
12:52 PM PST on January 09, 2007
lol STL that says the same thing as the one sky post
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429. weatherboykris
8:52 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
yes, that's it.Thanks
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
427. weatherboykris
8:43 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
it must,and hi STL
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
425. weatherboykris
8:39 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
It still says +1 to -1 is neutral
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
424. Skyepony (Mod)
8:31 PM GMT on January 09, 2007


Check out the elniometer. Not only has it updated~ They fixed it so Neutral is where it should be, between -.5 & +.5 not -1 & +1. I also got a reponse on the e-mail I sent NOAA censerning the error, from Dennis Cain.

my name,

You are correct. The scale will be changed shorty to correct the error.
Thanks.

dc

my name wrote:
> Hello
>
> On the http://www.noaawatch.gov/ page on the bottom left, there is a
> new rather neat elninometer (well that's it's name if you click on
> it's properties). My question is it's range of neutral. Wouldn't
> neutral be -.5 to +.5 C? Not the -1 to +1C shown.
>
> Thanks,
> me again

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423. weatherboykris
6:43 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
If they were 100 miles further east, Hawaii would be in trouble.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
422. weatherboykris
6:42 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
60 knot winds offshore though
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
421. weatherboykris
6:38 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
It's frontal
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
420. Tazmanian
10:37 AM PST on January 09, 2007
: HurricaneMyles wow and this wait in tell july comes the sea temps down there will b red hot
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419. weatherboykris
6:36 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
I'm thinking 2 degrees per hour for this event.Closer to the ground,below the thermometers, they may be faster were the winds are lighter.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
418. hurricane23
1:37 PM EST on January 09, 2007
Dont think this will become much...But looks interesting.


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417. weatherboykris
6:33 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
I remember during the Thanksgiving event,drops were 4-5 degrees per hour once the sun set.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
416. weatherboykris
6:33 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
But not as fast as if the winds were calm.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
415. hurricane23
1:27 PM EST on January 09, 2007
Temps should drop across southeast florida at pretty good rate this evening with clear skies present but a quick rebound will follow.
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414. HurricaneMyles
6:13 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
It's warmer then ussual by 1-2 degrees F. So it's a little warmer then normal, which is 81F
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413. Tazmanian
10:05 AM PST on January 09, 2007
HurricaneMyles wow 83 that is hot for this time of year as far as the sea temps gos
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412. Thunderstorm2
5:52 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
most of the people there probelly get their info off of websites and they take the key points and post them and put their name underneath
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
411. weatherboykris
5:50 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Fact of the matter, is,you never actually hear anything in-depth from them.It's like they're reading from cue cards.you know some of them aren't even real meteorologists.During a hurricane situation,I prefer the local news channel mets.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
410. Thunderstorm2
5:43 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
true
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
409. weatherboykris
5:42 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
they don't realize they're neither.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
408. Thunderstorm2
5:38 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Their probelly don't know if they're any of them
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
407. weatherboykris
5:36 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
They don't know if they're the Hurricane Authority or the Winter Weather Authority
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
406. weatherboykris
5:33 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
yet another example of tWC's incompetentness
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
405. Thunderstorm2
5:26 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
By Thursday and Friday Florida temperatures are forecast to go right back up
Thursday
78 F | 55 F
26 C | 13 C
Friday
78 F | 57 F
26 C | 14 C
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
404. HurricaneMyles
5:29 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Taz...you're getting a bit excited man. The temps in the Carribean are about 28.5C(83.3F) and the anomily is about 0.5-1C. It will be hot down there this year, but it always is.

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403. Tazmanian
9:27 AM PST on January 09, 2007
weatherboykris yes it is this wait in tell summer gets her or later in the year
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402. weatherboykris
5:25 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Latest ETA/NGM MOS trended down on the temps for tonight but the GFS MOS held steady, we'll see what happens
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
401. weatherboykris
5:25 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
it is cold Thunder.At least by Florida standards
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
400. Thunderstorm2
5:23 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
and hi everyone
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
399. weatherboykris
5:21 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
hi Taz, that is warm.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
398. weatherboykris
5:19 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
I'm sorry Patrap,I'm just different.I don't by any means want death and destruction.I like to think I make the best of a bad situation.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
397. Thunderstorm2
5:19 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Orlando FL Current conditions
60 F / 16 C
Clear
Humidity: 21%
Dew Point: 20 F / -7 C
Wind: 8 mph / 13 km/h / 3.6 m/s from the North
Pressure: 30.27 in / 1025 hPa
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
396. Thunderstorm2
5:18 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Florida is cold today
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
395. Tazmanian
9:10 AM PST on January 09, 2007
by looking at this map the sea temps in the caribbean are like 90 you think they are hot now this wait in tell jun and july they be hoter

Link
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394. Patrap
11:06 AM CST on January 09, 2007
A countdown to H season..thats different.Im not sure its a look forward to thing along the Gulf Coast..never is.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668

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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.

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