Warmer Days Are Ahead for Nation in January

December 19, 2010; 9:08 AM ET
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It appears the West will stay warm, while the cold retreats in the East come January, according to Long Range Weather Expert Joe Bastardi.

"Weather patterns in the Arctic and around the northern hemisphere are suggesting that the amazing cold will gradually go away in the East over the next few weeks," stated Bastardi.

Bastardi studies these patterns and others intensely, and feels strongly that a major flip toward unusual warmth will follow in the East during January.

"Areas over the Midwest and the Southeast will experience the most dramatic turnaround," Bastardi added.

Warmer weather is not too far away for much of the nation. However, since normal temperatures bottom out during January, readings 5 degrees above normal in January generally will not be as warm as 5 degrees above normal in December. That being said, January should be less painful than usual from a comfort standpoint.

Temperatures in much the Midwest and Southeast have averaged 7 to 12 degrees below normal thus far in December.

Bastardi feels these areas may average 3 to 5 degrees above normal during January, or approximately a 10- to 18-degree turnaround.

He predicted below-normal temperatures would occur over much of the East during December, early in the fall, bucking the trend of long-range computer models.

Above-average temperatures are also forecast in January for much of the West, with little or no change for most areas compared to December.

Bastardi is also forecasting the above-normal warmth to continue in the eastern two-thirds of the nation in February, with near-normal temperatures along the West Coast.

This is not to say that some intrusions of cold air cannot occur in the wake of storms. Nor does it mean that all storms will bring rain.

However, it does appear that a heavy frost or freeze in Florida would be unlikely during January, with the jet stream taking a northward hike into Canada.

So if you have a winter getaway planned for the Sunshine State, South Texas or the Southwest after the holidays, you should not be shivering.


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