Toasty nighttime temps kept October much-above normal in South Florida

weekly-forecast

Slightly cooler temperatures are in the forecast for late in the week. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

With daytime highs in South Florida slipping down into the low 80s, and brisk northeast winds amid mostly cloudy skies, it feels like real fall weather has arrived.

But with the exception of the cold front that swept through the peninsula the weekend of Oct. 22, nighttime lows have remained summer-like, and so the month is headed for much-above normal overall temps.

Only four days this month in West Palm Beach have featured slightly below average temperatures, and mid-month lows struggled to dip below 80.

Sunday’s low at Palm Beach International Airport was only 77, which tied the record for warmest low for the date set in 2010.

Normal lows in the West Palm area dipped below 70 for the first time last Thursday, and Tuesday’s normal low is 68. That means actual lows are almost a full 10 degrees above normal.

Lows are expected to edge down closer to normal by mid-week, and a weekend cold front may shave a degree or two off of that, according to the National Weather Service.

The U.S. West, meanwhile, has been dealing with record warm temperatures for late October and that is expected to continue into the first few days of November.

Phoenix hit 100 degrees on Thursday, a record for the date and the latest it’s ever reached 100 degrees in the city. The previous 100-degree day was Oct. 23, 2003.

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Older Arctic sea ice is disappearing, leaving newly-formed ice from the winter season more vulnerable, NASA says in a new report.

“Old sea ice” is defined as that which has survived several summer seasons. It becomes thicker with age — 10-13 feet thick — and is resistant to the summer melt.

“What we’ve seen over the years is that the older ice is disappearing,” said ice researcher Walt Meier of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “This older, thicker ice is like the bulwark of sea ice: a warm summer will melt all the young, thin ice away but it can’t completely get rid of the older ice.

“But this older ice is becoming weaker because there’s less of it and the remaining old ice is more broken up and thinner, so that bulwark is not as good as it used to be.”

The agency puts the situation into perspective with a dramatic time lapse movie from 1984 to 2016, showing the waning of the Arctic ice cap.

In the 1980s, about 20 percent of Arctic sea ice consisted of old ice that had survived multiple years. Now that’s down to 3 percent.

“The older ice was like the insurance policy of the Arctic sea ice pack,” said Meier. “As we lose it, the likelihood for a largely ice-free summer in the Arctic increases.”

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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