Low off Florida’s northeast coast expected to soak peninsula Friday

Post cold front on Wednesday, it was below freezing — 31 degrees — in the western Florida panhandle but still in the low 70s from the Treasure Coast south to Miami, and in the mid-70s down in the Keys.

Interior areas of Central Florida were in the upper 50s to near 60, the mid- to upper-50s in the Tampa area and in the 40s in North Florida. It was 43 in Gainesville but 37 in Lake City. The Jacksonville area ranged from 52 at the beach to 39 in the western burbs.

FRIGID NOVEMBER TEMPS in the teens stretched from Wisconsin to around Memphis, east to the mountains of North Carolina and up into the Northeast away from the immediate Atlantic coast. But there were pockets of even colder air, with single digits in central and western Ohio.

SFL precip

Forecast three-day rain totals in South Florida (above, credit: NWS-Miami) and East-Central Florida (below, credit: NWS-Melbourne)

ECFL precip

WET END TO THE WEEK: A strong low pressure system that’s expected to form off Florida’s northeast coast will bring rain to the Florida peninsula on Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Rain chances are around 60 percent from Orlando down into South Florida on Friday.

As the low moves out to sea, it will drag a cold front across the peninsula and temperatures will cool considerably, forecasters say. Orlando’s forecast high on Saturday is only 67; 75 in West Palm Beach; 77 in Miami and 71 in Tampa.

Freeze Watch for panhandle as blockbuster cold front roars through

JAX cold weather

(Image above: NWS-Jacksonville; below: NWS-Tallahassee)

Freeze Watch

You know we’re heading into the cool weather season when Jacksonville starts talking about how to safely dress for conditions. The (rather premature) Arctic front that has much of the nation in its grip will be paying a visit to Florida, but of course in modified form.

On Tuesday morning, while it was in the low- to mid-70s in South Florida and the Keys, there were below zero temps in the Upper Midwest. It was in the single digits as far south as the Texas panhandle, according to the National Weather Service.

A Freeze Watch was in effect for parts of the Florida panhandle Tuesday night, west of Tallahassee and away from the immediate Gulf Coast, with wind chills as low as 22 degrees.

Interestingly, exactly one month ago in Tallahassee, the high was 90, down from a few days earlier when the temperature hit 97 on October 3-4.

Wednesday’s forecast high in Jacksonville is only 59; 69 in Orlando; 71 in Tampa but 80 in Miami, even though the cold front makes it all the way through the state and stalls in the Florida Straits.

“Only slightly cooler air will be able to filter in, before winds quickly veer out of the east and moderate temperatures back up on Thursday,” NWS forecasters in Miami said Tuesday.

This weekend, lows poke below 70 in Miami and some interior locations of South Florida may bottom out in the 50s, forecasters said.

Next cold front due Wednesday; forecast disturbance to play a role this weekend

Wind gusts Keys

GUSTY IN THE KEYS: It was a blustery Sunday in the island chain with winds gusting into the mid-40s mph range. High pressure to the north of the Keys and low pressure to the south created a pressure gradient responsible for the windy weather. “The high pressure system to the north will continue to slide northeastward out into the open Atlantic, resulting in local winds to continue their downward trajectory,” forecasters said Monday. “Expect winds to become light and variable by Tuesday.” (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

HAPPY VETERANS DAY: Nice weather kicks off the second full week of November, with drier conditions and temperatures in the low 80s around the peninsula until the next cold front rolls through on Wednesday. This looks like a potent one — highs on Wednesday in North Florida may not even make it to 60, according to the National Weather Service; 70s in Central and South Florida.

The most interesting feature may arrive with a second cold front this weekend: A low pressure system is forecast to form in northeastern Florida and then ramp up off the coast and strengthen further as it moves off the coast of the Carolinas.

Monday’s run of the GFS deepens it to a 991 mb low that meanders around off the Carolinas coast on Sunday and Monday before exiting off to the northeast. The European model (ECMWF) ramps it up to a 998 mb low — and closer to the coast of North Carolina on Sunday and Monday.

Before that, though, the low is forecast to bring rain to much of the peninsula.

The National Weather Service in Miami: “Regardless of the low development, the models do agree on winds becoming more southerly. This will bring deeper moisture to the area with increased rainfall potential mainly on Friday, but continued shower chances Saturday before drier air moves in to end the weekend. This is the current forecast solution, but we will continue to monitor models as we move throughout the week.”

It finally feels like November: Temps sink into 50s in Central Florida

WCFL Sunday AM Temps

(Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

Beachfront communities on Florida’s southeast coast remained stubbornly in the mid- to upper-70s on Sunday morning, but the West Coast was in the low- to mid-60s as was most of East-Central Florida. You had to go up east and north of Tampa to find some 50s; there were upper 40s north of Gainesville and low-40s west of Jacksonville.

Water temperatures are still in the 81-82-degree range off South Florida and it’s tough to get much cooling when you’re sitting next to bathtub water. But dew points are at least down and it feels like autumn.

For example, West Palm Beach made it down to 68 degrees Sunday morning at 6 a.m., 69 at 7 a.m. with winds out of the northwest at 6 mph. An hour later the wind swung around to the northeast and the temperature spiked back up to 77. But the dew point was still a comfortable 59.

Officially, West Palm Beach picked up 0.47 inches of rain on Saturday, a quarter inch fell in Fort Lauderdale and there were sprinkles in Miami and Naples.

Singer Island was the precipitation king around the state with the island community in Palm Beach County reporting 1.37 inches to community observers for CoCoRaHS.

The National Weather Service is calling for more seasonal temperatures next week. Next weekend, though, a low pressure system looks to scoot across the peninsula from the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s unclear how much rain it might deliver.

LONG-RANGE OUTLOOK: Most of the Florida peninsula pops back into the above-normal temperature category through the week before Thanksgiving. The ultra-long-range forecast, from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center through December 6, has the eastern U.S. dealing with below normal temperatures, while above-normal temps take hold west of the Mississippi.

But forecasters say it’s a coin-flip for Florida.

‘It’s about time’ — cool, breezy weather follows morning rain

Cold front

WEEKEND COLD FRONT: “It’s about time!” forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourne said Saturday. Afternoon temperature in the mid-70s were in the forecast after the front rolls through. (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

Ready … set … open those windows!

Finally, a real live cold front was making its way down the Florida peninsula on Saturday, kicking off the state’s cool weather season.

Wake-up weather on Saturday morning: mid-60s from around Orlando to Cape Canaveral south to the Treasure Coast and over to the West Coast just south of Tampa. It was in the 50s in North Florida and the low-50s north of Gainesville, with upper 40s from Lake City over to Tallahassee.

It was in the low 40s in the western panhandle away from the coast.

The cool air was just starting to move into South Florida, where 70s were hanging, and it was still in the upper 70s in the Keys.

The front was producing showers and windy conditions as it worked its way across Central Florida and into the Lake Okeechobee area, but things were expected to dry out overnight.

“Sunday should be a really dry, beautiful day with high temperatures in the low to mid 80s under mostly sunny skies,” the National Weather Service in Miami predicted.

NWS-Melbourne: “Morning lows on Sunday will be on the cool side, in the upper 50s to low 60s across the interior and from the Cape north, with mid 60s from Melbourne south.”

NWS-Tampa: “Our two weekend days will really be quite nice, especially given our recent stretch of above normal temperatures. Highs today will be in the 70s area-wide with dew points in the 50s and 60s. After a cooler start to Sunday, highs will go back up into the mid 70s to lower 80s although it will still feel pleasant outside.”

VETERANS DAY FORECAST: Miami, mostly sunny with a high of 81; Orlando, mostly sunny with a high of 81; Tampa, mostly sunny with a high of 84; Jacksonville and Tallahassee, mostly sunny with a high of 77.

RECORD WATCH: Miami posted yet another record high on Friday, as did Fort Myers. It was 88 in Miami, beating the old record high of 87 set in 2015. It was 91 in Fort Myers, beating the previous record high of 89 set in 2003.

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Weather history

STORMY NOVEMBER: Some potent lows can form in the Gulf of Mexico in November. That was the case in 1968 when two lows rolled across the peninsula a couple of day apart, triggering damaging tornadoes in Naples and Clewiston. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

After weekend cool-down, forecasters eye potential Gulf system next week

Longest stretch CFL

HOT STREAK:┬áMelbourne set a record for longest stretch of days with highs at or above 80 degrees, the National Weather Service in Melbourne said. “This stretch of warmer weather should finally come to an end on Saturday, with highs in the 70s,” forecasters said on Facebook. (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

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Here’s the forecast everyone has been waiting for:

“Dry air continues to filter into the area on Sunday with beautiful weather expected.” (National Weather Service, Miami)

The coolest temperatures since May will take hold over the weekend, with a second shot of cool air due at mid-week, according to the National Weather Service.

Saturday and Sunday forecast highs: Tallahassee, 66 & 73; Orlando, 76 & 79; Jacksonville, 67 & 72; Tampa, 78 & 82; Miami, 80 & 80; Fort Myers, 79 & 82; and Key West, 83 & 82.

One interesting feature with next week’s forecast: A surface low is expected to form in the Gulf of Mexico at the tail end of the next front. According to both the GFS and the European (ECMWF) forecast models, the low gets dragged across the Florida peninsula toward the end of the week.

Friday GFS runs had the low on the northern Gulf Coast Thursday and Friday, while the ECMWF had it much farther south, in the Central Gulf, on Friday and then off Florida’s northeast coast on Saturday.

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RECORD WATCH: While all of Florida awaits the first potent cold front of the season, more record-warm weather gripped the peninsula on Thursday.

Miami tied a record high with 88, matching the mark set in 2013; Naples tied a record high with 91, equaling the 91 set in 1972; Sarasota broke a record high with 91, beating the old record of 90 set in 1996; and Fort Myers tied a record high with 91.

Record warm lows were set or tied in Fort Lauderdale (78); West Palm Beach (80); Naples (74); Marathon (80); Orlando (71); Sanford (70); and Jacksonville (71).

January-October was warmest on record in Florida, NOAA says

Record warmest Jan.Oct

(Image credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

Florida had its warmest January-October period on record — with such records dating back to 1895 — the National Centers for Environmental Information reported this week.

Also, the state had its warmest October in terms of minimum temperatures. We’ve been seeing daily records up and down both coasts, not only in October but all summer, and so this is hardly a surprise.

Record maximum temps have been popping up with regularity from the panhandle down to the Keys, but there was no cigar awarded for October — it was only the second-warmest on record.

countytavgrank-201901-201910

(Image credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

Drilling down, almost every county in the state had its warmest January-October, with the exception of a few counties in Central Florida, including Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River, and three in the far western panhandle.

ODDS & ENDS: It’s always interesting to see record temperatures that beat a previous record set just last year. That happened again on Wednesday in Sanford, where a record minimum temp of 72 was set, beating last year’s record of 71.

The low in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday was a steamy 78 — easily breaking the old record of 76 set on the same date last year.

Key West tied a record high with 88, a mark set a year ago.

RECORD WATCH: More record warm lows were posted around South Florida on Wednesday. They occurred at Miami (76); West Palm Beach (79); Naples (75); and Key West (79).

ODDS & ENDS PART II: The heat index at Immokalee in Collier County Wednesday topped out at 97 degrees, 95 at Naples. The index was in the low 90s on the southeast coast.

Water temps are still 82-83 degrees off South Florida beaches.

The cold front that is forecast to take the edge off the heat in the Florida peninsula this weekend — with another shot of cool air on tap for next week — drove temperatures down to bitter cold January-type levels in the Upper Midwest.

It was in the single digits from Iowa to Minnesota to Wisconsin, with teens north of Chicago. Weather Underground even reported one rural below zero temperature of minus 1 in southern Minnesota.

A front due to pass through Florida Friday will bring “breezy [north-to-northeast] winds … [and] usher in cooler and drier air Saturday into Sunday, allowing temperatures to drop to near-normal and actually feel like fall for the first time this year,” the National Weather Service in Miami said Thursday.

The second shot of cooler air arrives Tuesday night and Wednesday, forecasters said.