Meteorologist explains whacky weather

Thursday, January 26, 2012
WTHI News-10 Meteorologist David Wire

Recent dramatic temperature shifts have many in the valley wondering: When will winter really arrive?

According to WTHI News-10 Meteorologist David Wire, maybe not for a while.

On Thursday, Wire told The Brazil Times Wabash Valley residents should expect high temperatures in the low-40s for a couple more weeks.

"There's definitely a fluctuation going on here," Wire said. "And it's because the jet stream has not settled into a normal winter pattern."

Wire explained the jet stream is a stream of wind at the top of the earth's atmosphere. He said it is the fastest wind in the atmosphere.

"Basically, it's the I-70 of the winds," Wire said. "It's like an ocean current. It's the real driving force of all of our low pressures and temperature trends during the winter season.

"It guides areas of low pressure from point A to point B, and it separates the temperatures. It keeps the cold air to the north and warm air to the south. But what it's doing now is just a huge wave."

As a result, the area has experienced warmer temperatures. Wire said December 2011 was 5-degrees warmer than normal.

"It may be safe to say this winter is going to be above average," Wire said. "This has been one of those wild winters."

With the exception of a cooler system coming in the area this weekend, most in the area should expect to see temperatures in the 40s throughout the day.

"We're actually on the upswing in temperatures," Wire said. "We're leaning toward getting into warmer temperatures. I don't want to say we've seen our coldest temperature, but it should get warmer. We're running out of winter, but February is still ahead of us.

Rather than dealing with snow on a daily basis, because of the warmer temperatures, residents have dealt with many rainy days.

"We're below snowfall for the season," Wire said. "This is not a traditional winter for us."

However, Wire said he believes colder temperatures will arrive in the area in the near future.

"It looks like it will settle in and give us some normal winter weather," Wire said. "In reality, for us, February is still around the corner."

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