The heat: Why it has been warm and whether a break is expected

(Courtesy: MGN)
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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather
March 25, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – It has been a bit toasty in the Big Bend and South Georgia, but it may be sticking around for a bit longer.

As of Wednesday, the high temperature in Tallahassee was above normal for 17 consecutive days with Tallahassee tying a record high of 89 degrees.

One large contributing reason is the persistent riding of high pressure across the Southeast for the last month. The map below shows the average mid-level height anomalies for the last 30 days courtesy of NOAA. The yellow and orange colors show the intensity of higher heights, setting the stage for a pattern with warmer than normal temperatures.

30-day 500 hPa anomaly

The same ridging pattern is expected to stick around through early next week. Both of the major global models (GFS and European) are suggesting a trough to move into the eastern United States. If it verifies, the viewing area would see some cooler temperatures in the region. Beyond April 1, longer-range ensembles of the two models are hinting at more closer-to-average patterns at least through the middle of the month.

The Climate Prediction Center is keeping the eastern United States under a higher chance of encountering above-normal temperatures overall for three to four weeks out and for April. But by that point, the viewing area may continue to feel like spring as the average high for April 15 being 80 degrees.