The Big Bounce: Florida warming trend picks up its pace

cold-snap-ends

Florida’s warm-up continues as we head into mid-week. (Credit: NWS-Melbourne)

After flirting with some winter weather late last week and over the weekend, most of the eastern two-thirds of the country appears to be headed for some spring-time temps — in mid-January.

Temperatures should jump back into the low 80s in Florida by the end of the week — more on that below — but even the Frozen North is enjoying a January thaw that could stick around for at least 10 days, and possibly longer.

Not that people in the Upper Midwest, or the Northeast, will be sitting on their patios wearing shorts and Ray-Bans and sipping tropical drinks. The weather in Chicago through the third week of the month looks mild but gloomy, with highs in the 40s under cloudy and rather drippy skies.

Consider the AccuWeather forecast for Chicago on Friday Jan. 20: A high of 43 degrees under partly sunny skies. That’s about as good as it gets this time of the year, and might even generate some wire photos of people rollerblading through Grant Park.

The commercial forecasting service is calling for mostly mild weather in February, too, with a bunch of highs in the 40s.

Wednesday’s forecast high in Cleveland is 49 and Thursday’s forecast high is 54. Even Buffalo looks to be well above freezing for much of the rest of the month and into February.

Boston’s forecast high on Thursday is 50 degrees — 62 in Washington. In fact, inauguration day, Friday Jan. 20, will be cloudy with a high near 60, which would be in stark contrast to some of the nasty cold conditions that have presided over other inaugurations.

Forecasters credit high pressure that maintains a firm grip on the central and eastern U.S. while low pressure remains in control over the West Coast.

That means more Chamber of Commerce weather in Florida, with highs edging up near 80 in places like Palm Beach, Miami and Naples, and even Orlando.

Temperatures in South Florida, by the way, are still running between 2-5 degrees above normal for January despite the weekend cold snap. Expect that gap to widen over the next 10 days to two weeks.

*

2013_chelyabinsk_meteor_trace

A meteor hit near the Russian City of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, damaging buildings and injuring hundreds. (Credit: Alex Alishevskikh via Wikimedia Commons)

CLOSE CALL: An asteroid up to 112 feet in diameter ripped through space between the Earth and the moon on Monday. The good news, of course, is that it was a clean miss.

But the bad news is that it was only discovered on Saturday by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona. Had it make its way into Earth’s atmosphere, it would have generated an explosion 30 times more powerful than the blast at Hiroshima 10 miles above the surface, according to a report in Popular Mechanics.

It may have triggered an event similar to the Chelyabinsk meteor that hit Russia in 2013.

“Not knowing about near-Earth objects (NEO) until days before they fly close to the Earth is slightly concerning,” the magazine noted.

For a list of other (known) asteroids in Earth’s neighborhood, check out NASA writer Tony Phillips’ blog at Spaceweather.com.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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