Winter begins on Friday, Dec. 21st. It's a time of year where we expect colder temperatures, and in some cases snow...depending on what part of the country you live in. Here along the Gulf coast, Winter is not hard to deal with since the average high temp for late December thru January (the heart of Winter) is in the lower 60s...with average low temps into the lower 40s.
Saying that, the last month or so has been even moreso warmer than normal for the Gulf Coast. We've enjoyed (or not) 70+ degree weather for most of December thus far (as of Dec. 18th). This atypical weather is courtesy of the Jet Stream remaining farther north towards Canada...keeping the colder air bottled up there. So, temps have been warmer than normal & rain has also been below normal since the "storm track" or Jet Stream has stayed north.
Even though it doesn't feel like Winter is near... changes are coming. The first day of the new season will actually bring fitting weather as temperatures cool down behind the passage of a strong cold front. Unseasonably cold temps can be expected for the 1st day or two of Winter...however, this won't last long. Another dose of warm weather moves in during a bad time...CHRISTMAS.
You may wonder if this warm spell will last the entire Winter season. Looking at climate forecast graphics, the rest of December looks to remain above average in terms of temperatures. However, the Dec.-Feb. climate forecast leans more towards average temperatures.
Moral of Story: don't plan on getting much use out of that new Winter coat. Also, remember that the calendar is always right...even if the temperatures aren't reflective of the times.
Have a Happy Winter!
Meteorologist Deitra Tate