JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Winter is officially over an you may of felt as if it never arrived in Jacksonville because it was such a warm season.
If you thought the season was warm, your right. Jacksonville just had the fourth warmest, and the second hottest meteorological winter season was recorded in Mayport and Jacksonville Beach.
Meteorological winter is a three month period that runs from Dec 1st to the end of February. It is the coldest three month period of the year in the northern hemisphere.
After factoring in the late season record cold freeze on March 16th, and the light freeze on the following night, the astronomical winter was the 6th warmest winter on record in Jacksonville and ranked 3rd at the coast.
Astronomical winter lags behind meteorological winter and just ended Monday, March 20th. This is what we all refer to when we talk about the winter season and this is based on when the sun reaches the most southern point on the globe, the Tropic of Capricorn.
Florida as a whole had its third warmest winter, while temperatures in Tampa, Lakeland, Kissimmee, Miami and Ft. Myers heated up to the highest on record.
It was rare to not get any freezes in February, but despite the warm winter, chilly air arrived early and ended late in Jacksonville with the first freeze on November 21 and the most recent March 17th. In all there were just a handful of five freezes.
This warming trend will likely continue into the end of spring due to a developing El Nino in the Pacific. The Climate Prediction Center says the greatest odds for above-normal temperatures include Florida and the eastern U.S. along with the south-central Plains. No areas are favored to see below-average temperatures this spring.
The planet has has seen record average warmth for the past three consecutive years based on temperature data from NASA.