2006_02_sfcmap.jpgLast month tied January 1913 as the fourth warmest January on record. The average temperature in Central Park was 40.9 degrees, 8.8 degrees above normal. Much of the Midwest and Great Plains had their warmest January's ever. The warm trend continues into February but for how long? The clouds are giving us warmus interruptus today but tomorrow will be a sunny, warm mid-winter day. The sunshine means that Staten Island Chuck will see his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. Gothamist hopes whatever local dignitary helps Chuck with his duties tomorrow morning asks the rodent if "six more weeks of winter" means more of the same or a return to real winter weather.

Friday and the weekend look to be warm but are likely to be soggy. Significant changes to the weather pattern may be in store late next week. The extended forecast from AccuWeather, which should be taken with a grain of salt given the lead time and their tendency to hype extreme weather, calls for high temperatures in the lower 30s and lows in the teens. The Weather Channel also sees a cooling, but not that to that extreme. The Weather Service wisely does not make detailed forecasts more than a week in advance.

Follow-up: House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) writes a letter to NASA Administrator Michael Griffin concerning that agency's treatment of one of their lead scientists. In part, Boehlert writes, "Political figures ought to be reviewing their public statements to make sure they are consistent with the best available science; scientists should not be reviewing their statements to make sure they are consistent with the current political orthodoxy."

Surface map showing the unseasonable placement of the Bermuda High from weather.com