January thaw may not be ideal

Columbia, (WACH) -- The record high temperatures are not ideal for the atmosphere.

According to the National Weather Service the average annual temperature for 2012 was one of the highest in Columbia and across the country.

The beginning of 2013 is also setting record highs with unseasonal warm weather 3 consecutive days.

Saturday started the 3 day streak with a high temperature of 82 degrees followed by 78 degrees on Sunday both of those days had records of 77 degrees.

Monday's high temperature of 81 degrees replaced the old record 1932.

While high 70's seems like ideal temperatures in January when they're combined with very little rainfall it can become a problem.

University of South Carolina professor Dr. Venkat Lakshmi says that the warm weather takes a toll on crops and things like trees, bushes and grass year round.

"What this means is that there's a lot of evaporation occurring and a lot of water being sucked out of the ground into the atmosphere when you have this much evaporation in january then you end up with less amount of water being available in the summer," said Dr. Lakshmi.

If the warm weather continues Dr. Lakshmi says to expect to see lower levels of water in lakes and rivers.

With this type of warm weather in January most of the rainfall evaporates before it reaches the ground.