Is The Winter Over Already? [AUDIO]
This was supposed to be a cold, snowy winter, but after a much warmer-than-normal December, temperatures will be up near 50 degrees today, and they could approach 60 over the weekend.
So, what's going on? Why is this happening?
National Weather Service meteorologist Valerie Meola says a lot of things have changed over the course of the past year.
"We had La Nina Conditions for a good part, and then El Nino, and it looks like right now we're actually in neutral, and those neutral conditions are expected to continue through spring," Meola says, "Based on the latest forecast guidance for that."
Will the above-normal temps hold steady?
She says without any real strong El Nino or La Nina weather pattern in the tropical Pacific, "you really don't get a big push in any direction - it looks like at least for the next couple of weeks we'll continue to see above-normal temperatures - there is a trend towards cooler temperatures towards the end of January - but whether that continues through all of February - there's no big push right now for that."
Meola adds, "December was considerably above-normal. You can look at Trenton and Atlantic City, and both were over 5 degrees above normal for the month and so far for January- if you look at both of those locations, they're both running half a degree to a degree above normal as well - so it has been fairly warm… And we do go through seasonal variability every year, so you can have more extreme winters - like we had several years ago with all those snow storms - but to now have more of a mild pattern now is unusual."
She points out the current three month outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is kind of a question mark, since "it has us in an area of equal chances …of above, below or near normal conditions for both temperatures and precipitation…they're looking at a lot of different model data - tele-connection patterns - like El Nino, or the Northern Atlantic Oscillation or all these different patterns that affect wet weather in our area…it's so variable across our area that it's sometimes - the guidance just isn't there."