After a terrible Thursday with clouds and rain, today was better with some sunny breaks but lots of lingering clouds that keep daytime highs in the 50s. The clouds were rotating around a slow moving upper system that will pull towards the northeast on Saturday. The main forecast issue will be whether we see some afternoon sun, or will clouds hang around most of the day? If they do, highs will again stay below normal (50s) requiring sweaters and jackets. Sunday should see all day sunshine resulting in slightly warmer temps back into the 60s. Monday, Tuesday into early Wednesday look dry with our next rain threat coming late Wednesday into Thursday. I still don't see any real cold air coming during the next 10-12 days. Models are hinting of a southern storm sometime after Christmas that could make for some frozen precip. not too far to our north.
We have reached mid-December, and for the next 8-10 weeks historically, it's the time of the year when we have had some really bad freezes. Surprisingly, our coldest temperature records occurred during the first 2 weeks of February (1899). Tonight, the only bitter cold remains over Alaska and northern Canada which is fairly typical for them. There are no signs in the models suggesting a "Polar Vortex" developing that could bring the Arctic air into the lower 48. Sometimes the U.S. gets very cold in December and then sees a "January Thaw". This year December looks seasonally cold to slightly above average/normal, so no thaw is needed. I picked 70 grapefruit from my tree today ( over 70+ still on it) and will let the rest ripen more until I see a hard freeze coming. There are 4-5 squirrels building nests in my back trees. Maybe they know something about the coming Winter? Stay tuned!