A Warm and Dry 2011 across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia
Jason Hess, Climate Focal Point
2011 was the warmest year since 1998 at all 4 climate stations in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. After a record breaking cold winter of 2010-11, the spring and summer of 2011 were well above normal. This warmth contributed to average temperatures 1 to 2 degrees above normal for the year. The climate details are listed below.
2011 Average Temperature (departure from normal)
Jacksonville, FL 69.1F (+0.5F)
Gainesville, FL 70.8F (+1.9F)
Alma, GA 68.0F (+0.8F)
St Simons Island, GA 69.8F (+1.7F)
Very dry conditions, which have persisted 2 years across the local area, set impressive records with three climate sites having one of their Top 3 driest years on record in 2011. The lack of rainfall during the normal "wet" season summer months and lack of tropical cyclone activity in the local area contributed to the rainfall deficit in 2011.
2011 Total Precipitation, inches (depature from normal)
Jacksonville, FL 47.96" (-4.43")
Gainesville, FL 33.38" (-14.03")
2nd driest year on record behind 32.79" in 1917
Alma, GA 33.10" (-13.55")
3rd driest year on record behind 26.08"/1954 and 31.13"/2001
St Simons Island, GA 29.25" (-15.75")
3rd driest year on record behind 24.27"/2010 and 26.64"/1990
The winter of 2011-2012 started off quite warm with December average temperatures about 3 to 4 degrees above normal. This was the first December with no freezes (temperatures at or below 32F) since 1994 in Gainesville and Jacksonville. This was in stark contrast to December of 2010 which was the coldest one on record for all climate sites and set records for the total number of freezes in one month.
While a cold arctic blast is expected this week with a short-period of sub-freezing temperatures, the winter of 2011-2012 is still forecast to have greater chances of above normal temperatures and below normal temperatures. Please refer to the Climate Prediction Center Climate Outlooks for more information.