January and February were unusually active, cold and wet in Florida. This was no surprise to us, considering the strong El Niño was projected to cause above normal precipitation, below normal temperatures and an elevated risk of severe weather. Now that March is here, more typical Florida weather has arrived. It’s sunny and warm, and likely to stay that way for many days. However, it may not last the entire month.
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Similar to what happened for a period of about ten days in mid-February, the jet stream is allowing mild Pacific air to move across much of the nation this week. A faster, flatter flow will prevent large storm systems from forming and producing significant precipitation or large fluctuations in temperature. Next week, a ridge of high pressure is expected to form, allowing a warmer and somewhat more humid air mass to move in from the southeast.
While we can’t say yet whether March will go out like a lion in Florida, there is evidence to support the idea that a more active pattern may evolve by mid-month. While Florida is basking in the sun and enjoying the warmer weather next week, a shift in the pattern will allow for a strong storm system to form in the southern plains. This storm system is then forecast to slowly approach the state around March 10 or 11, possibly marking the arrival of a more active period of weather. The Climate Prediction Center continues to advise that above normal precipitation is expected this month, along with near normal temperatures for the full 30-day period.