Mild temperatures likely to continue

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The above-normal temperatures Southeast Missouri has seen this January are likely to continue in the immediate future despite a dip back to more seasonal conditions on Friday.

In the two weeks since the beginning of the year Cape Girardeau has seen high temperatures consistently above the low-40s average highs typical of January. Only two days this year have highs dipped into the normal range -- Jan. 6 and 7, when downtown highs reached 39 and 38 degrees.

Jim Packett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., said the warm pattern is definitely abnormal for this time of year.

"Today is somewhat of an exception to the weather we've been having," Packett said Friday. The high reached 56 at 12:53 a.m. Friday, but the temperature had dipped to 36 degrees by 4 p.m.

Packett said the usual cold arctic air is blocked by a jet stream situated farther north than usual. Now a westerly flow is bringing in warmer, maritime weather systems causing high temperatures and rains.

With the temperature dip on Friday Cape Girardeau saw a mix of snow and rain throughout the day. With a forecast pointing to more above-normal temperatures, though, the snow is the last Cape Girardeau is likely to see into next week.

High temperatures are expected to reach the high 40s today and the mid-50s by Monday, then stay fairly steady in the high 40s through Thursday.

Packett said the jet stream pattern shows no immediate signs of changing, meaning the above-average temperature trend could last for weeks.

If so, predictions of above-normal winter temperatures made by the NWS in November will be accurate.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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