Media attention is often focused on land temperatures, and global temperatures that include both land and sea. These are in near-record territory every month and every year, but it’s interesting to note that ocean temps have been rising relentlessly. Last year was the warmest on record for the oceans, as was 2017 and 2016, Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and an author of the report, told the newspaper.
Trenberth and other researchers have put the blame on ocean temperatures for historic rainmakers like last year’s Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Warm ocean water is also often reflected in daily data reported by the National Weather Service right here in Florida. Key West, positioned out in the middle of all that warm water, posted eight record warm minimum temperatures in December — and one this month so far.
Exactly how warm are the oceans this winter? We don’t know because this function of the government is shut down. On its Office of Satellite and Product Operations website, NOAA says simply: “This site will not be updated.”
The four-week outlook released Friday shows the East firmly in the grip of below normal temperatures. (Image credit: NOAA/ CPC)
COLD: The medium-range (three- to four-week) forecasts have been flip-flopping recently over whether the eastern U.S. can expect an unusually cold end to January and beginning of February. Friday’s release of the four-week outlook is back at it, predicting a cold snap for the U.S. east of the Mississippi, including Florida.
The Climate Prediction Center is calling for warm weather in the Plains States, The Rocky Mountain States and along the West Coast
This scenario is reflected in the CFS climate model for the period of January 26-February 2 and from February 9-February 16.
The GFS is showing temperatures below zero the weekend of January 26 as far south as Missouri, with freezing temperatures in Florida as far south as Orlando.
TOASTY MORNING TEMPS IN THE KEYS: It was up to 15 degrees warmer than Friday morning temperatures, the National Weather Service says. Note the pre-dawn temperature in Duck Key — 75 degrees! (Image credit: NWS-Key West)