Part of Canada was nearly warmer than the entire U.S., see how it happened

Part of Canada was nearly warmer than the entire U.S., see how it happened
Part of Canada was nearly warmer than the entire U.S., see how it happened

It is a rare occurrence for part of Canada to be nearly as warm as the entire United States, especially in the middle of January. However, that is exactly what happened on the morning of Jan. 15 when a peculiar temperature pattern was in full swing across North America.

pattern
pattern

The eastern tip of North America peaked at 13.9°C through the pre-dawn hours of Sunday. At a latitude of 47°N, St. John's, N.L., was nearly warmer than the entire U.S. This is an exceptional overnight low in a location that typically averages below -8°C in the middle of January.

The most jarring juxtaposition occurred with Florida. The entire state was at or below 14°C, making St. John's warmer for several hours. The cold plunged as far south as Cuba, where temperatures reached a chilling 9°C.

TempAnomaly
TempAnomaly

How about California and Texas? The only challenger to St. John's in the former was San Diego, which came in between 13-14°C. Extreme southern Texas also put up a fight where temperatures in Brownsville, Texas, bottomed out at 13°C, as well.

However, coastal Texas surpassed St. John's as the only warmer place in the continental U.S. with temperatures sitting in the mid-teens.

SEE ALSO: Major Canadian city can't snap out of this absurd, below-freezing streak

The culprit

The cause of this unusual situation is due to an exceptionally amplified flow across the Atlantic Ocean with a low-pressure system swirling off the east coast of the U.S. This system pushed the traffic of storms north and consequently, a milder surge of air followed suit.

This atmospheric setup will direct the rainfall and milder temperatures northward across Atlantic Canada throughout the early part of the week.

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By Sunday afternoon temperatures had returned to reality for St. John's, where 0°C was recorded just several hours after the warmth.

St. John's recording of 13.9°C was the eighth-warmest temperature in January's history since record-keeping began in 1875. Due to the wedge of the cooler air northwest, it's hard to believe the same province had lows below -35°C in Churchill Falls within the same timeframe.

Warmer-than-normal temperatures are forecast to dominate Atlantic Canada through the remainder of January.