COLUMBIA — From Dec. 1 through the month of January, the winter of 2012 to date has tied for the seventh warmest winter on record in Columbia.
The average temperature of 36.6 degrees for those two months was 10.1 degrees warmer than the same period last winter, according to the National Weather Service.
The average temperature so far this winter in Columbia tied records set in 1891, 1923, 1934 and 1947, Jayson Gosselin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis said.
David Unger, a meteorologist at the Climate Prediction Center, said long-term forecasts indicate the Columbia area can expect the mild conditions to continue.
"Climate signals point to above normal temperatures for the remainder of the winter," he said.
The mild winter has been attributed to La Niña, a cooling of the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean that keeps the jet stream north of its usual position. It also makes conditions favorable for more precipitation than usual in central Missouri for the remainder of winter and into spring, Unger said.