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La Nina leading to above normal temperatures in December

Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 18:49:20-05

Many Floridians have been asking themselves what month are we in the last few weeks. It maybe in fact December, but Southwest Florida is running on 4.8° above normal for the month thus far. That means is the month ended on December 15, it would in the top 5 warmest Decembers on record with an average temperature of 73.3°. That is the average temperature over a 24 hour day. The average high temperature is 83.4°, which is 5.4° above normal.

While there are some micro-climate conditions that have added to these temperatures, the large scale weather trigger for the warmer temperatures in the weak La Nina in place this winter. La Nina is a period of cooler than normal sea surface temperatures across the east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean. This type of weather pattern normally results in warmer and drier than normal conditions in Southwest Florida. While we have seen some spot showers of late, Fort Myers is 0.81 inches below normal rainfall for December thus far.

The La Nina isn't expected to break until this Spring, which means more warm temperatures are likely this Winter. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center has Florida with a 60-70% chance of above normal temperatures through the month of February