Last year tied 2016 for the warmest on record since such records began in 1880, according to NASA. Separately, NOAA said 2020 was the second-warmest on the books, coming in just behind 2016.
The seven year period from 2014 to 2020 were the warmest seven consecutive years in the record books, an analysis echoed by a recent report from the National Weather Service in Melbourne announcing that “pronounced warmer than normal conditions have largely continued to dominate the weather pattern across the region since 2015 . . . .”
Annual temperatures since 2015 have been within the top five warmest for East-Central Florida.
NEW ENSO FORECAST: La Niña conditions are pretty much a lock (95 percent) in the tropical Pacific through the rest of the winter and into spring, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday. But after March, forecasters expect a transition to ENSO neutral conditions through June.
CPC forecasters say the La Niña influence will likely be reflected in the new three-month outlook to be issued next Thursday. La Niña generally means warm and dry weather for Florida, but that hasn’t been the case so far this winter. Although it has been dry, December had below normal temperatures across the state and after this weekend’s chilly temps, January overall temperatures will slide into negative territory as well.
As for the upcoming hurricane season, a fading La Niña may help keep storm numbers from soaring like they did in 2020. Very long-range forecasts issued last December favored another above-average year in the Atlantic, but we’ll have a little better idea when the April forecasts come out.
Ideally, if we transitioned to an El Niño in fall we could see a dramatic decrease in the number of storms, since those conditions — warmer than normal waters in the tropical Pacific — tends to increase wind shear in the tropical Atlantic.
TEMP TURN AROUND: The normal high in West Palm Beach ticks up a degree — from 74 to 75 — on Monday. The average high as has been on a downward slide since August 8. Miami and Fort Lauderdale’s high rises from 76 to 77 a week from Saturday.