Warm winter to continue through March



The National Weather Service in Columbia is predicting this year’s warmer than average temperatures will continue through March.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, January 2012 was the fourth warmest January on record in the United States and the warmest since 2006. Washington and Florida were the only two states that did not record higher than average temperatures.

Metrologists said the warm weather can be attributed to the jet stream pattern flowing west to east.

Tenia Morrison, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said the trend will continue throughout this week and into March.

This is in contrast to what Punxsutawney Phil predicted in Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day. Gen. Beauregard Lee, however, did not see see his shadow in Georgia and predicted an early spring.

The average high temperature in March is 69 degrees with an average low around 42.

For the remaining full week of February, Morrison said temperatures should remain in the mid-60s to low 70s with overnight lows in the 40s. Skies should remain clear and dry through Wednesday. A low chance of showers is predicted for the weekend.

During the past weekend, the Augusta area also experienced up to 1.25 inches of rainfall.



View a searchable database on daily local weather temperatures and rainfall since 2000 at http://chronicle.augusta.com/data/weather