Is the warm weather here to stay?

Published 11:34 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

During Groundhog Day, all reports showed Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow predicting six more weeks of winter. However, the recent temperatures around Farmville have included warm weather ranging from 60 to 80 degrees, not exactly supporting this prediction. 

It was 68 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday. One day later, it climbed to near 80, much higher than normal for this time of year. According to Alec Butner with the Wakefield branch of the National Weather Service, a warm front is moving through, causing the temperatures to rise. 

However, don’t say goodbye to the heavy coats just yet. This summer-like weather will be short-lived as a cold front is moving up and will bring in temperatures back into the 40s this weekend. The cold won’t stay too long either as Sunday is expected to warm back up to the 60s. 

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“Saturday will cool down into the 40s, maybe bring rain or a winter mix, but it will be very short-lived,” said Butner.

Central Virginia is used to seeing warmer weather in the winter as temperatures usually get up in the 60s. However, this year is something different. 

Why the weather is warmer this year

The weird weather for this winter is not just in Virginia or even the East Coast. Across the country, the weather is keeping people on their toes as everything seems to be backward. 

According to Butner, the whole country is experiencing La Niña weather patterns.

“It’s a pretty active pattern,” he said. “That’s why we’ve seen the cooler temperatures in the West, with the snow in California, and across the East Coast we’ve had these warmer temperatures.”

According to the National Ocean Service, La Niña is when the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean push the jet stream northward causing droughts in the south and heavy rains in the west. This could give us a stormy spring and more hurricanes this summer.