This week’s forecast calls for a likelihood of bicycle and exercise trail congestion, more fishing lines in the water and a significant increase in short sleeves.
According to the National Weather Service the warming trend folks in the Golden Isles may have noticed is going to stick around for a while. Although forecasters are not calling Old Man Winter down for the count just yet, we could easily experience daytime temperatures in the 70s for the better part of February, according to the weather service.
This after a stingingly cold January that brought a winter storm to the Golden Isles and introduced south Georgia to a nasty northern phenomenon known as freezing rain.
“I would say, as it stands right now, the next 15 days are going to be warm,” said Nate McGinnis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. “You will see above average temperatures for the next two weeks.”
Tuesday will be about as cool as it gets for a while, with the daytime high around 62 and an overnight low of 53. There is also a 40 percent chance of showers today.
For the rest of the week, however, temperatures will continue to climb. Wednesday’s daytime high is expected to reach 65 under partly cloudy skies, followed by a high of 71 on a partly sunny Thursday. The work week wraps up with a comfortable high of 74 on Friday beneath clear blue skies, according to the National Weather Service.
And while National Weather Service forecasters do not go out on the meteorological limb beyond seven days, their colleagues at the national Climate Prediction Center are in the business of long range prognoses. McGinnis said the climate prediction folks say there is at least an 80 percent chance that the warmer weather will persist into the last week of February.
“The Climate Prediction Center is calling for above average temperatures for the next two weeks,” McGinnis said. “They’re calling that at 80 to 90 percent, and that is a pretty high percentage.”
The average daytime high in the Golden Isles for this time of year is 63. “We definitely expect the temperatures to be above that over the next eight to 14 days,” he said.
Overnight temperatures are expected in the upper 50 to low 60s. The average overnight low in February is 45 degrees, McGinnis said.
These balmy conditions are brought to us on a warm Bahamian wind, descending in the form of a high pressure system out of the Atlantic ocean.
“These southerly winds that are kind of originating off in the northern Bahamas are really what’s going to bring in the warmth,” McGinnis said. “We’re going to have some chance of precipitation during that time, but not much. We’ll be in a drier, warmer pattern with the high pressure over us.”