Blog: Record Heat East. Record Cold West!


It’s been warm lately.  No doubt about it.  Here is a graph of the high temperatures for February so far.

February High Temps

You’ll notice that most of the time we have been well above average.  There were only a few days below, and only one day well below.  This will likely be one of the warmest February’s on record.

While we are enjoying a very warm weather pattern here, there is a very cold pattern in the western U.S.  This pattern is called the PNA pattern.  It has to do with the dips (troughs) and rises (ridges) in the jetstream and where they are located over the country.  This goes hand-in-hand with the surface temperature differences.  When the PNA pattern is positive then it is typically warm in the west and cold in the east.  The jetstream dips in the east and rises in the west.  Currently we are in a negative PNA pattern.  So we are warm with the jetstream shifting north.  It’s opposite out west.  Take a look at the afternoon forecast temperatures.  Keep in mind there is a time difference between the coasts.  Still….

National Forecast Temperatures
National Forecast Temperatures

The warm temperatures extend all the way up into parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes.  However, some much colder air was located over the north central and western U.S.  We will be well into the warm zone today.  A warm front has made it north of Hampton Roads. Winds are out of the southwest at 5-10mph.

Regional Weather Map

We had a lot of moisture come up with the warmth.  So we started the day with some thick fog across most of the region.

Norfolk International Airport Camera

There was also some mist and drizzle.  This will continue through the morning.  However, we’ll start to clear a lot of that up by midday.  We’ll definitely clear up more during the afternoon. I believe we’ll go to partly cloudy skies, but it could be a cross between partly and mostly cloudy conditions.

Future Trak (This Afternoon)

Some of the models have hinted at a stray shower late this afternoon into the early evening.  It’s not out of the question, but I put the chance only at 10%.  So no big deal. High temps will aim for the mid 70s.  If we see more clouds, then low 70s.  More clearing would put us in the mid-upper 70s.  I’m calling for 75 degrees in Hampton Roads.  The record in Norfolk today is 77 degrees (1991).

Tomorrow we’ll probably have less fog in the morning.  We’ll probably also have less clouds.  Skies will be partly cloudy for most of the day.  This should put temps in the upper 70s to near 80.  If we get more clearing than expected, then we’ll definitely get to 80 degrees.  The record high for tomorrow is currently 79 degrees (2014).  So we’ll see if we tie or break the record.  Winds will be out of the southwest.

We will have a cold front move into the region on Thursday.  It will probably move through late in the day.  High temps will drop into the upper 60s.  We’ll have increasing clouds and some scattered showers by the afternoon.  We’ll be cooler on Friday with highs in the upper 50s.   There will be some more scattered showers.  By next weekend warmer air will return. We’ll go back to highs in the 70s both days.  We may see some isolated showers on Saturday, but scattered showers (40% chance) are expected on Sunday.  There’s still time for that to change.  So stay tuned for updates.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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