Warm Winter Leads to Drought/Record Heat Across Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean

With the MJO lingering in the west/central Pacific warm phases, this forced a strong and sustained polar vortex, which resulted in the 6th warmest winter on record for the US.

This enhanced the mid latitude subtropical ridge and forced the lowering of heights across the high latitudes, hence the strong polar vortex which bottled polar air within the source region.

Lack of polar air kept Gulf of Mexico waters much warmer than normal.

Credit: Michael Lowry

So, summer-like Gulf of Mexico waters led to a summer-like upper high above. The ocean-atmosphere system has led to drought throughout the US Gulf Coast as well as much of Mexico and the Caribbean. Drought and stronger than normal high pressure leads to record breaking heat.

Warm GOM.


Stronger than normal high.

Leads to drought.

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Record heat!

Warmest March on record from Brownsville, TX to Naples, FL.

All these Mexican cities also recorded their warmest March on record.

Credit: wunderground.com

Many cities on the surrounding landmasses of both Gulf and Caribbean have not only seen record warmest month but also hottest March or April days on record.

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