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Submitted by Tim Buckley on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 9:07am.
It's been one of the coldest winters in Wilmington history, but it looks like we're finally turning a corner as we head into mid-February. We do need to make it through another day of cold, damp weather on Friday - but once the weekend arrives it's smooth sailing for at least a week into the future, and there's plenty to smile about. Lets look at the maps.
Here's the Friday Jet Stream across the country:
You can see why we're so darn cold. That nagging dip in the Jet Stream is positioned over the Eastern two-thirds of the nation right now, funneling cold air into the South. This has been the case for much of the year, including December (which was our coldest ever) and January (one of the coldest on record). The result has not only been the persistent cold, but it's also shoved several winter storms into the Carolinas - most recently this Thursday. But there's a patten change afoot!
Heading into next week, we're seeing a noticeable difference looking at the weather across the globe. Instead of cold Canadian air parking itself over the east, the cold air will be pestering the West. That leaves us in the East to enjoy some dramatically warmer weather than we've seen all season long - and it will last a while too!
This air will bring above normal, which means low 60's for the first half of next week and upper 60's for the last half. In fact, I think many of our inland areas will hit the 70 degree mark a few times before next Saturday. Bust out the shorts!
Not only will we see warm air next week, but we hit a couple of milestones for the season too. Our average daytime high breaks the 60 degree mark again on Wednesday the 16th. Also, the sunset reaches 6:00pm again on Monday the 21st. Two positive signs that let you know we're coming out of the dead of winter.
There is one exception to this warmth, and that's at the coast. It's like what we mentioned a few weeks ago. With water temperatures still stuck in the upper 40's along the beaches, afternoon highs will have a hard time getting into the 60's. This means Wilmington could be enjoying a pleasant 65 degrees, while Wrightsville Beach may be 58 - or worse.
The moral of the story is: you want to be inland during the Spring, and you want to be at the coast by the Summer. The water can be both a blessing and a curse to your temperatures.
Enjoy the improving weather, and have a great weekend!
By: Tim Buckley