Here’s the way National Weather Service forecasters in Tallahassee started their analysis Sunday morning: “The first fall front is on the horizon!”
There was good news and bad news about this much-discussed cold front, which has been on the radar of forecasters for the last several days.
The good news is that the front is now forecast to completely clear the peninsula by mid-week. Previous forecasts had it stalling over Central, or South Florida. The Sunday forecast was for it to stall over the Keys.
A week of true autumn weather is on tap for the Florida panhandle. (Credit: NWS-Tallahassee)
The bad news is that it’s not expected to bring much, if any, cool air over the southern peninsula, and along the East Coast in general. That’s because as soon as the front sinks through the area, easterly winds will transition to the northeast, and ocean temperatures along Florida’s East Coast aren’t exactly fall-like.
Water temperatures are still above average along the Atlantic Coast, and much above off northeastern Florida. Off the Lake Worth Pier in South Florida, water temperatures are running around 82 degrees.
Winds in the panhandle will be north-northeast, far enough away from the bathtub Atlantic to allow temperatures to fall into the mid-50s. The forecast low in Marianna, Florida for Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning is 55, with a mostly sunny high Wednesday of 78.
Highs in South Florida during this period will still be in the mid- to upper-80s, National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said, with rain chances stuck in the 30-50 percent range due to the proximity of the front to the south.
Highs Friday and Saturday in South Florida should be in the 83-85-degree range, with blustery winds, and lows only a few degrees cooler in the upper 70s. That’s pretty much a ditto for the East-Central and West-Central peninsula, although drier air is forecast to move in for next weekend with a forecast high in Tampa of 86 and a low of 70 under mostly clear skies.
We’ll take what we can get.
RECORD WATCH: Saturday’s low in Vero Beach was 76, which tied a record warm low set in 2007. Record warm lows were tied and set in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach with readings of 76 and 78, respectively. In the case of Jacksonville, the reading matched a mark set 105 years ago in 1912.
Ophelia will be post-tropical when it arrives in Ireland, but it will still deliver a wallop with strong winds and rain. (Credit: NHC)
TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center again increased chances of development of the system near the Lesser Antilles to 50 percent by Friday. If it develops it would be named Philippe.
Forecast models have become wishy-washy about development in the Caribbean/ Gulf of Mexico next weekend. The Canadian (CMC) was still hinting at a weak system brewing in the Central Caribbean, and the GFS Sunday run had something trying to spin up in the Gulf a week from Monday.
Hurricane Ophelia, with winds of 105 mph, was forecast to slam Ireland on Monday with hurricane force winds, although it was expected to transition into an post-tropical storm.