Friday, January 05, 2007

Winter Wonder

"It's creepy out there."

"It's the end of the world."

"It's global warming."

"It's Armageddon."

"El Nino is back."

"What the fuck is up with the weather?"

Those were the single comments of coworkers as they streamed into the office one after another this morning without heavy jackets in New York City in January.

Today was casual Friday so I was wearing jeans without long johns underneath, a button-up olive green Michael Kors shirt (from the latest sample sale in his office upstairs) without an undershirt, a pair of black Reebok Classics without two pairs of socks, some funky accessories and a very light, black sweater jacket without a hood ... in New York City ... in January.

The record warm winter temperatures are splashed across headlines in all the city's dailies. And it's not just a slow news week. The city saw a November and December without snow for the first time since 1877. And New Jersey had its warmest December since records started being kept 111 years ago.

It is truly a winter WONDERland with all of us sitting around, scratching our heads and wondering what the heck is going on.

According to
Meteorologists say the warm spell is due to a combination of factors.

El Nino, a cyclical warming trend now under way in the Pacific Ocean, can lead to milder weather, particularly in the Northeast.

The jet stream, the high-altitude air current that works like a barricade to hold back warm Southern air, is running much farther north than usual over the East Coast.

The weather is prone to short-term fluctuations, and forecasters said the mild winter does not necessarily mean global warming is upon us.

In fact, the Plains have been hit by back-to-back blizzards in the past two weeks.

"No cause for alarm. Enjoy it while you have it," said Mike Halpert, head of forecast operations at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

Crocuses are pushing out of the ground in New Jersey. Ice fishing tournaments in Minnesota are being canceled for lack of ice. And golfers are hitting the links in Chicago in January.

Much of the Midwest and the East Coast are experiencing remarkably warm winter, with temperatures running 10 and 20 degrees higher than normal in many places.

We're expecting temperatures close to 70 degrees tomorrow ...
in New York City ... in January.

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