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Weather Phenomenon ‘Foehn Effect’ Behind Of Unusually-High Temperatures in the V.I. and P.R. in February

FAWNING OVER THE ‘FOEHN EFFECT’: The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have been unseasonably warm this February according to historical statistics and meteorologists.

CHRISTIANSTED — If you think that it’s been an unseasonably hot February so far — you would be right.

The first half month of February has felt more like a warm Easter thanks to a Caribbean vortex, weather experts say.

A cocktail of warm temperatures and high winds from our region could create the warmest day in February in five years, meteorologists told the Virgin Islands Free Press.

AccuWeather has been reporting for the last three days that St. Croix’s heat, despite having normal-range temperatures and lower than normal humidity has still produced what it called weather that feels “extremely uncomfortable.”

Meanwhile, the World is being affected by our weather event as well: In February, Denver reported 80 degrees Fahrenheit; Oklahoma registered 99 degrees Fahrenheit and Iceland had a temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

The strong, recurrent Pacific jet stream that’s been delivering massive amounts of rain to California has also been pushing mild Pacific air downslope off the Rockies and eastward, keeping the southern two-thirds of the U.S. absurdly warm for early February.

From New Mexico to Virginia southward to the Gulf Coast, trees and shrubs are budding out en masse up to three weeks ahead of schedule.

In Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth recorded its last freezing temperature on January 8.

‘FOEHN EFFECT’: As explained in a graphic description made by meteorologists.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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