Forecasters predict a warming of the central Pacific Ocean known as “El Nino” will provide a break for weather-weary Americans this year.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration issued an official El Nino watch Thursday. In a typical El Nino year, there’s a stronger flow of wind at the Jet Stream level, and a stronger Jet Stream over the southern U.S.
Jeff Garmon, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile, says that can increase the potential for severe storms: tornados, severe thunderstorms, squall lines, things of that nature.
Winter precipitation is moving into the Florida Panhandle, the produce of frigid arctic air and Gulf moisture.
Escambia County’s Emergency Operations Center activated at midnight. Emergency Management Chief John Dosh says they’re at level-2, with only key agencies on hand for now.
Throughout the year the Escambia EOC conducts table-top exercises to cover a number of scenarios – hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters. Dosh says those – and the current winter storm development – are all part of what he calls “consequence management.”
Officials in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties join the rest of the Florida Panhandle in bracing for a rare taste of winter precipitation.
A winter storm warning is in effect for the western Florida Panhandle for all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico joins forces with another blast of Arctic air. That, says Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service, means sleet, freezing rain and possibly some snow.
If you liked last week’s frigid weather, you’re going to love what Mother Nature has in store this week for northwest Florida and south Alabama.
Meteorologist Steve Miller, at the National Weather Service in Mobile, says the cold is back after a brief warm-up over the weekend, thanks to a pair of upper-level systems: one along the U.S. and Canadian border, and the other moving through the Great Plains pushing a very cold air mass ahead of them. Highs are expected not to climb out of the 40s, while lows could approach 20 degrees.