SHERMAN, TX - After last year's heavy snow, rash of tornadoes, drought, and scorching summer. This winter's mild temperatures come as a relief to many texomans. Well into the second week of March we have yet to spend an entire day below freezing. A cold front did just blow through, but so far this has been one of Texoma's mildest winters on record. We talked to meteorologist Tom Miller and an Austin college scientist who blames a pacific coast weather phenomena for the warm up.
The winter of 2012 is on pace to be the 9th warmest Texoma winter on record.
"I don't remember such a warm winter here in Texoma in the 25 years i've been forecasting," said KXII meteorologist Tom Miller.
With temperatures regularly reaching the seventies it's hard not notice just how mild this winter has been. Especially after the arctic blast we had in 2011 that froze the roads and put all of Texoma on lockdown.
"Last year had a cold spell that was about ten days in length and it was a record breaking cold spell," said Austin College physics professor Dr. David Baker. "But if you look at the winter as a whole, it turns out that last winter was warmer than average."
Dr. Baker says La nina is the culprit. La Nina is a seven year weather system off the east coast that pushes the jet stream south. But baker says La Nina is nearing the end of her run and the jet stream is moving north.
"La nina, which has really dictated our weather over the last couple of years is weakening and it it looks like as we go into the spring we're going to return to more normal conditions," Dr. Baker said.
We've already seen severe weather in the midwest this year, but Miller says that even with all the advances in technology forecasting long term weather patterns is extremely difficult.
"With the advances in the computers we're pretty accurate on at least going out five to seven days on a forecast," said Miller. "We can see trends we can follow systems. But even with the advances on the the computers with some of the long range models, it is still hard to depict exactly what is going to happen."
Neither Baker nor Miller could say whether or not this year's mild winter is an indication of a harsh tornado season ahead, but both say it is very possible.