It's no doubt been a mild start to the winter season.
Since the start of winter on December 21st, high temperatures have averaged 57º! This is the 11th warmest start to winter (up to January 5th) that we've seen in recorded history at Columbia Regional Airport.
So what's the deal? Where has all the cold air been? Well, locked up north! Northern Canada and Alaska in particular have been very cold.
The polar jet has remain pretty tight north of the continental United States with no big storms to influence the colder air south.
It was actually when we were cold in November and early December that Alaska was dealing with well above average temperatures... The baton has certainly been passed off.
You make be asking, is there any hope for colder weather any time soon? Yes... and no. There are indications that the cold will try to push in some time in the next week or so, but there's no consistent lasting power much past the middle of the month.
When we forecast temperatures in the long range, we often use ocean temperatures/patterns to see how it will influence what we see on land. They're called teleconnections. As of this afternoon, long-range teleconnections has alluded to temperatures patterns near normal by mid-month, but major cold snaps aren't showing up at the moment.