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PalmatierMeg

Polar Vortex on the Way?

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PalmatierMeg

Saw this article in the news this morning. Haven't read it yet but am already shivering. If there is any good in this news, it's that the vortex won't arrive until mid-February. Maybe the effects won't be as severe by then.

polar-vortex-may-be-on-the-horizon-scientists-warn

Note: I'm reading article now. Polar vortex to start end of Dec. and inflict "one of the harshest winters in years." Yikes! I remember the last one not too many years back.

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Opal92

It will be interesting to see what happens. One of my other hobbies is weather. It seems kind of conflicting considering I love zone pushing with marginal plants, but I find it fascinating when these events occur and to observe their effect on vegetation.

I know many years it seems that the switch flips when the New Year begins. The 2013-2014 winter comes to mind. I remember it was very mild even into late December, and then once early January came we had the infamous polar vortex event in North FL. However, oddly enough, it hardly affected Central/South FL. It didn't even get to freezing in the Orlando area all while my location in the Panhandle got consecutive lows of 23, 17, and 19 on the 6th, 7th, and 8th with a high of 33deg on the 7th. Even when we had the ice event just a few weeks later in late January where it got to 19-20deg with a high of 26 on one day, Orlando was in the 60's.

However, I will point out that in the Polar Vortex Event of January 1981, it got to 17deg at my location in the Panhandle like it did in 2014, but that time Orlando got to 21deg instead. I guess it depends on the orientation of the arctic front that brings the cold air down. All I know is, it's been a very long time (22 years if you count Feb 1996, 29 for 1989) since Central FL has had an old-fashioned hard freeze event (something like 1917, 1940, 1962, or 1981). We are maxing out on the return time period for such an occurrence. The last 15 years visiting Central FL (especially Orlando), I always shudder thinking of the carnage that will be inflicted upon the sensitive tropicals that have been boldly planted here in the last 20+ years. January 2018 was hardly even a taste of what such an event will be like.

Edited by Opal92
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Jimbean
9 minutes ago, Opal92 said:

I know many years it seems that the switch flips when the New Year begins. The 2013-2014 winter comes to mind. I remember it was very mild even into late December, and then once early January came we had the infamous polar vortex event in North FL. However, oddly enough, it hardly affected Central/South FL. It didn't even get to freezing in the Orlando area all while my location in the Panhandle got consecutive lows of 23, 17, and 19 on the 6th, 7th, and 8th with a high of 33deg on the 7th. Even when we had the ice event just a few weeks later in late January where it got to 19-20deg with a high of 26 on one day, Orlando was in the 60's.

However, I will point out that in the Polar Vortex Event of January 1981, it got to 17deg at my location in the Panhandle like it did in 2014, but that time Orlando got to 21deg instead. I guess it depends on the orientation of the arctic front that brings the cold air down. All I know is, it's been a very long time (22 years if you count Feb 1996, 29 for 1989) since Central FL has had an old-fashioned hard freeze event (something like 1917, 1940, 1962, or 1981). We are maxing out on the return time period for such an occurrence. The last 15 years visiting Central FL (especially Orlando), I always shudder thinking of the carnage that will be inflicted upon the sensitive tropicals that have been boldly planted here in the last 20+ years. January 2018 was hardly even a taste of what such an event will be like.

2010 wasn't cold enough for ya?)

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Opal92
6 minutes ago, Jimbean said:

2010 wasn't cold enough for ya?)

Again, I guess it all depends on the orientation of the arctic front/trough. Because for me, 2014 was still much worse than 2010 in the FL Panhandle (both years got to 17 degrees, but duration and accompanied ice event in 2014 was a lot more devastating). And yet 2014 was hardly bad for you at all in peninsular FL. Don't get me wrong, I hate when these cold events damage or destroy our precious palm collections. I just like to look at history and be aware of what could happen.

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RJ

I lived in a Cold zone 5a in 2013/14. I've driven to work at -24 F . Even up there I recall the nice warm December. At this point I had already been planning my escape to a warmer climate. I recall saying to a buddy of mine as I worked outside in the "balmy" for December temps of the high 20's and low 30's how I could get used to this December weather. January came and hit us like a hammer. It was endless cold up north. Brutal. We had weeks where it didn't get above zero. Mind you, not Zero C, Zero F :blink: . We made our yearly family pilgrimage to S. Florida that February just in time. Only to return the beginning of march to another full two full weeks of brutal cold. That was the proverbial nail in the coffin. I was done with the cold after that winter. That winter Lake Champlain froze. Lake Champlain, although very far north even with parts of it in Canada doesn't freeze very often. It's deep and large at about 130 miles long.  The last time before 2013/14 that I recall it freezing 2004 and 2002. Again in 2002 it went a good month hardly getting above zero F.  I had moved away for a few years from 05-08 so I can't vouch for those years. Here is a display of 2010 . 

Last winter here in S. Carolina is was again cold. In the mid teens,  even Charleston airport reported 14F . I was just about ready to move to the Keys :D. However, the cold was short lived for me, not so much for locals though. So far this winter again, has been mild we have had a low of 28. It makes me leery about the rest of the winter. and as many of you here weather is a bit of a hobby of mine. Some of the long range models are pointing to cold starting mid Jan and lasting to mid Feb. 

 

 

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Jimbean
1 hour ago, Opal92 said:

Again, I guess it all depends on the orientation of the arctic front/trough. Because for me, 2014 was still much worse than 2010 in the FL Panhandle (both years got to 17 degrees, but duration and accompanied ice event in 2014 was a lot more devastating). And yet 2014 was hardly bad for you at all in peninsular FL. Don't get me wrong, I hate when these cold events damage or destroy our precious palm collections. I just like to look at history and be aware of what could happen.

haha oh I thought you were in Orlando.  

I have noticed that the Panhandle gets a different winter pattern than the rest of the state.  Not all cold weather blows this direction. 

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Palm crazy

The weather channels I look at on youtube are not calling this a vortex yet. But all are saying this will be like the same winter as 2014-2015 winter if things all pan out. To early to worry about this now. However, we're getting closer when a few cold spells hit the southern states and the west coast and PNW heat up. Time will tell! 

Winter of 2014-15 was a very warm winter for the PNW with a very early spring, that is what they are predicting for this winter too. 

Edited by Palm crazy

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Mr. Coconut Palm

Our local weather men the last couple of days have been predicting mild conditions for the next couple of weeks.  I hope they are right!

John

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Chester B
2 hours ago, Palm crazy said:

Winter of 2014-15 was a very warm winter for the PNW with a very early spring, that is what they are predicting for this winter too. 

Bring it on!!! Haven't dropped below freezing yet and hope we don't this year.  I noticed the starlings are already starting to build their nests, hopefully they are in the know.

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bubba

The article also refers to a polar vortex last year that spread from “Eurasia to the East Coast of North America”. Last year was great! I will take it!

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Palm crazy
16 hours ago, Chester B said:

Bring it on!!! Haven't dropped below freezing yet and hope we don't this year.  I noticed the starlings are already starting to build their nests, hopefully they are in the know.

I notice winter blooming camelia are in full bloom. I hope to get a 'Donation' this year. 

camellia-donation.jpg

Edited by Palm crazy
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NC_Palms

Seems very possible. With the warming Arctic and a weaker jet stream, prepare to see colder temperatures and more frequent Arctic invasions to the subtropical Southeast. 

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cm05

It’s that time of year, where the polar vortex turns into a dodgeball, on the bright side it looks as though Europe will bear the brunt of it this go-round. I wish the west coast could take the cold off of our hands this winter.

Last winter (late December to early January) featured the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced, on the coldest day we had a daytime high of only 12°F (yes, TWELVE!!) with a low of 2°F, I know New York has reputation for being cold, but that’s quite severe by our standards. To put things into perspective, such a temperature departure would yield temperatures greater than 110°F in the summer, and once you factor in the humidity it’d feel comparable to Saudi Arabia.

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Silas_Sancona
5 hours ago, Palm crazy said:

I notice winter blooming camelia are in full bloom. I hope to get a 'Donation' this year. 

camellia-donation.jpg

How close are you to where the F2 Tornado that hit Port Orchard yesterday? Apparently the strongest  to hit Wash. State in the last 30 years.

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Palm crazy
1 hour ago, Silas_Sancona said:

How close are you to where the F2 Tornado that hit Port Orchard yesterday? Apparently the strongest  to hit Wash. State in the last 30 years.

Very windy the night before with thunder and lightning, strong winds here with lots of limbs down.  

I'm about 60 miles south of where the tornado touchdown, it was a short live one but did a lot of damage. Seeing the damage on the news it looked very bad, with 4by4 stuck in walls, in one block all the cars back window where blow out. Lots of siding damage and some roofs were totally torn off. 80' topple trees everywhere and on houses, cars, etc.   Thankfully nothing that bad in my area. Feel bad for people that can't go back to their houses. 

Thanks for asking!

Edited by Palm crazy
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PalmatierMeg
42 minutes ago, dmc said:

Damn wind!

Been having tropical force gusts here too. Lots of pots blown over. Had 4 large green fronds fall from one of my Dypsis pembanas. But as of now the training rain storms are done and the sun is out in force. Got almost 2" of rain since Wed. evening (Dec. avg. is 1.92"). We needed a bit of hydration.

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Opal92

From all the weather sites I regularly check, I'm seeing consistent indication that the "switch will flip" somewhere around Jan 15 in terms of colder air outbreaks. What we are experiencing now in much of the Eastern US is called "stratwarming." One of the meteorologists I follow on twitter listed 1966, 1985, and 1994 as analogs to the current setup this winter- those years also had a stratwarm period before their respective polar vortex cold outbreaks.

stratwarming.PNG.4048622b91b9e39d9cab7aa

This article describes what's going on now pretty well (it's in Italian, but your browser should be able to give an option to translate). Weather: strong stratwarming on the North Pole. Frosty surprises in 2019?

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UK_Palms

@Opal92 Yes, you are correct. Except in Europe the warm spell has already come to an end with a very cold air mass moving in across the continent as I type this. Parts of Eastern Europe are currently -10C and it is set to get much colder, with the polar air mass getting stronger and moving southwards. Most of Greece has snow forecast in the next 48 hours, including Athens. Snow typically falls once every 4 years in Athens. So a very cold spell is on its way to Europe.

It is a similar story in western Europe as well, although not as extreme. We are stuck under a high pressure system, with northerly winds blowing, which is dragging cold air down from the artic into the UK. We are due our coldest spell of winter over the next 72 hours. I had overnight lows in the 10C range a few nights back, but on Thursday night I have a low of -5C forecast, so it is going to get very cold here as well. Below average temperatures for several days, but it should rebound back to average by late Saturday / early Sunday. 

I just hope that is the end of the cold snap for this month. Hopefully we got it early and then revert back to low pressure, overcast wet weather for the rest of the month, which will keep the temps above freezing. Your Italian friend seems to think otherwise though, with his predictions of colder air breakouts during the second half of the month. Anymore high pressure systems will suck in more artic air from the north and allow colder continental air to move in from eastern Europe. A similar thing happened last February and we saw temps right down to -10C. I don't want to see a repeat of that. I want the rain and overcast Atlantic conditions. Not the cold, dry continental air mass conditions.

Edited by UK_Palms
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bubba

Checked the latest 3 month official forecast (Jan., Feb.and March 2019) forecast from NWS National Climate Center. It shows above average temperatures for central and south Florida.Only below average area from North Georgia to south Ohio. I do not place much confidence in these long-term forecasts!

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Silas_Sancona
On 1/2/2019, 9:14:54, bubba said:

Checked the latest 3 month official forecast (Jan., Feb.and March 2019) forecast from NWS National Climate Center. It shows above average temperatures for central and south Florida.Only below average area from North Georgia to south Ohio. I do not place much confidence in these long-term forecasts!

 Agree w / you bubba..  any forecast beyond, say 5 days should be taken with a grain of salt.. even your average 5 day can quickly get busted. Guaranteed, if i played a forecast like someone betting on Ponies.. id be -whatever the next level might be- beyond broke, lol 

That said, i try to use the 30 / 60 / 90 day seasonal forecast *thoughts* as a reference.. and monitor how the suggested conditions / overall pattern plays out. One can find hints that might give the pattern suggested in say 30 days.. a particular lean and work off that. A good example was this past summer here in the Southwest.. Many of the 3 month forecast were seeing the potential for a good Monsoonal pattern setting up back in May.. For the most part, it was a good season, though i had hoped to see more remnant, tropical storm moisture get into Southern CA than occurred. The cooler / wetter start to Fall also suggested the overall pattern might actually give us a break from the winter heat, and more moisture.. Still too early to say where we'll end up, but far better, so far, than last year.. even if it isn't enough to completely erase 15 years ( or more) of regional Drought..  Whatever rain /snow that falls the rest of this winter / early spring will help. 

As for the possible, suggested antics involving this year's Polar Vortex splitting / disruption, etc.. i can see why many of the forecast models are more chaotic than someone with ADHD at a Punk Rock Concert or Cochella.. lots going on, many things competing for attention in the air ...MJO that can't make up it's mid in magnitude, positive ENSO, but not all *that* El Nino; ...QBO, negative or positive NAO ..you name it.. who will dominate? those factors leaning cold? or the opposite.. an honest to goodness train wreck right now.. but you can't not pay attention.. simply because all cards are on the table and while the pattern is warmer with perhaps less snow where there should be plenty atm, the gates could open, sending an Arctic blast on a Caribbean vacation.

Right now, i see Florida might get swiped by some degree of cold near the 20th of the month, if you believe this afternoon's 18z run of the FV3-GFS ( Tropical Tidbits)  At the same time, today's 18z run of the GFS itself ( also per T.T.) isn't showing it..  Id say, start looking for an obvious, consistent signal in coming model runs of both the GFS and FV3-GFS.. or whichever other forecasting tool you prefer. Starts leaning cold?.. you know whats coming.. keeps backing off?.. keep kicking any freeze / frost potential down the road.. until it's too late for one to occur. 

As always this time of year, be ready, just in case..
 

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Tropicdoc
On 12/19/2018, 12:14:05, Opal92 said:

Here's Accuweather's take on this posted today.

Click linked text below for article:

Might changes in the stratosphere, polar vortex soon trigger an Arctic outbreak in the US?

?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.ama

?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.ama

?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.ama

We always seem to get the short end of the stick on these. Like Louisiana is a vacuum sucking cold air southward:rage: 

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bubba

Silas you are far more knowledgeable and keep up with these long rangers than I am (that Tropical Tidbits looks very interesting). There is no question that Florida will get some chill over the next couple of months. Quite frankly, I am hopeful as long as we do not revisit the cold of the 1980's!

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Opal92

5c3241fd584c5_PolarVortexJan6.PNG.85ca15

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NC_Palms

We’re getting a cold front in Greenville this week. I am a little worried about the 24° day. I will be covering all my 9b plants and hoping for the best. 

Polar Vortexes are becoming much more common, which is becoming the new norm here. Climate change isn’t being that kind to North Carolina. 

057ECE0E-3DF2-41F6-90FD-C493628ADCA7.thu

 

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mdsonofthesouth
12 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

 

We’re getting a cold front in Greenville this week. I am a little worried about the 24° day. I will be covering all my 9b plants and hoping for the best. 

Polar Vortexes are becoming much more common, which is becoming the new norm here. Climate change isn’t being that kind to North Carolina. 

057ECE0E-3DF2-41F6-90FD-C493628ADCA7.thu

 

 

Yeah our Thursday to friday low got downgraded from 25 to 21. We will be in the 30s for the next few days then hopefully back to the mid 40s and hopefully a continuation of average temps.

 

Not a fan of vortexes becoming a norm...winters growing up had their cold spells especially in the 80s and early 90s. But we got spoiled from the early 90s to 2010 with normal winters... Starting to wonder if even Florida will be a safe haven from the cold in the future.

 

 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth

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NC_Palms
1 hour ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Yeah our Thursday to friday low got downgraded from 25 to 21. We will be in the 30s for the next few days then hopefully back to the mid 40s and hopefully a continuation of average temps.

 

Not a fan of vortexes becoming a norm...winters growing up had their cold spells especially in the 80s and early 90s. But we got spoiled from the early 90s to 2010 with normal winters... Starting to wonder if even Florida will be a safe haven from the cold in the future.

 

 

I think South Florida got cold last year. I saw photos of the iguanas falling off the trees and laying lifeless on the ground. 

California is lucky that they are protected from cold fronts. Its surprising that Los Angeles and Wilmington are on the same latitude, yet the last time LA saw temperatures below 32° I think was over 20 years ago. Unlike Wilmington, which sees below freezing temperatures every winter. 

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mdsonofthesouth
1 hour ago, NC_Palms said:

I think South Florida got cold last year. I saw photos of the iguanas falling off the trees and laying lifeless on the ground. 

California is lucky that they are protected from cold fronts. Its surprising that Los Angeles and Wilmington are on the same latitude, yet the last time LA saw temperatures below 32° I think was over 20 years ago. Unlike Wilmington, which sees below freezing temperatures every winter. 

 

Honestly I dont NEED tropical. I just dont want to see 30's in my winter forcast! The east coast has the kind of weather I love, its too bad about our winters. At this rate I figure the eastern US will become the new pole by the time I retire.

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NC_Palms
30 minutes ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Honestly I dont NEED tropical. I just dont want to see 30's in my winter forcast! The east coast has the kind of weather I love, its too bad about our winters. At this rate I figure the eastern US will become the new pole by the time I retire.

6

I certainly love our long and hot summers. The tropical airmass comes in mid April and leaves around mid October. So our climate for six months is tropical and the other 6 months it's a mix of every other climate. <_<

I am really curious to know what the climate was like in the Southeast long ago before the 18th century. I bet everything was warmer with more northernly ranges of native palms. According to the records, Royal palms were found in North Florida and Sabal minor was in Virginia. We can only imagine what the climate was like back then. ;)

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mdsonofthesouth
1 minute ago, NC_Palms said:

I certainly love our long and hot summers. The tropical airmass comes in mid April and leaves around mid October. So our climate for six months is tropical and the other 6 months it's a mix of every other climate. <_<

I am really curious to know what the climate was like in the Southeast long ago before the 18th century. I bet everything was warmer with more northernly ranges of native palms. According to the records, Royal palms were found in North Florida and Sabal minor was in Virginia. We can only imagine what the climate was like back then. ;)

 

Sabal minor still comes extremely close to Virginia and seems to love the DMV. I cant wait to get some more. I read somewhere that some of the first settlers found trunking palm trees off Virginia so minors and needles must have been native to the DMV at some point. 

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NC_Palms
1 hour ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Sabal minor still comes extremely close to Virginia and seems to love the DMV. I cant wait to get some more. I read somewhere that some of the first settlers found trunking palm trees off Virginia so minors and needles must have been native to the DMV at some point. 

Needle palm is endangered and it’s range is decreasing. No doubt in my mind that they had a more extensive range at least into North Carolina. Besides over exploitation and habitat loss, I’ve heard that needles lost the vector to move seeds around. So humans are technically now the vector to keep the populations high.

 

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mdsonofthesouth
15 minutes ago, NC_Palms said:

Needle palm is endangered and it’s range is decreasing. No doubt in my mind that they had a more extensive range at least into North Carolina. Besides over exploitation and habitat loss, I’ve heard that needles lost the vector to move seeds around. So humans are technically now the vector to keep the populations high.

 

 

Im in the process of spreading and maybe one day propagating needles. Currently have 7 and will be planting many many more on my property and other places that will allow me. They do so well here that its a must in my eyes!

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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Opal92

I'll believe it when I see it, but there continues to be indication from various sources that there will be a pattern change in the 2nd half of January.

5c36752c2b416_Cold1.PNG.3d4dcdfa6a599b2e

Edited by Opal92
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bubba

As I read the map and commentary from Bastardi, the first map shows current days 1-5 (presumably Jan. 9-14, 2019) while the second map shows  the areas effected by the predicted 7 weeks of cold.

I note that Florida for the most part remains normal according to the second map (white). What is Bastardi’s track record on these long rangers? Can we expect Bastardi and gang hanging in So.Fl. taking pictures of icicles in coconut palms?

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Opal92
3 hours ago, bubba said:

As I read the map and commentary from Bastardi, the first map shows current days 1-5 (presumably Jan. 9-14, 2019) while the second map shows  the areas effected by the predicted 7 weeks of cold.

I note that Florida for the most part remains normal according to the second map (white). What is Bastardi’s track record on these long rangers? Can we expect Bastardi and gang hanging in So.Fl. taking pictures of icicles in coconut palms?

I think the prevailing idea (and it's not just Bastardi pointing it out) is that the pattern will favor more cold in the Eastern US- not really talking about any specific locations of how far south that will be yet.

Edited by Opal92
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PalmatierMeg

It appears to me that the bulk of the really frigid air will stay north of FL, at least in the near future. Another 3-4 weeks and the southern half of the State may be spared the most frigid air. Last Feb. Cape Coral experienced a cold front that 4-6 weeks earlier would have guaranteed lows of 32 and below. Instead, we just had typical Jan. temps in mid-Feb. Sometimes timing is everything.

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RJ
20 hours ago, Opal92 said:

I'll believe it when I see it, but there continues to be indication from various sources that there will be a pattern change in the 2nd half of January.

5c36752c2b416_Cold1.PNG.3d4dcdfa6a599b2e

See that big green blob of cold air in northern New England on the 1st image? That's where I used to live. Used to be the key word ;)

It can stay up there, thank you. 

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RJ
17 hours ago, bubba said:

As I read the map and commentary from Bastardi, the first map shows current days 1-5 (presumably Jan. 9-14, 2019) while the second map shows  the areas effected by the predicted 7 weeks of cold.

I note that Florida for the most part remains normal according to the second map (white). What is Bastardi’s track record on these long rangers? Can we expect Bastardi and gang hanging in So.Fl. taking pictures of icicles in coconut palms?

IMO he's excellent at identifying patterns from a distance, he tends to see the setup earlier then most. 

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