Balmy nights settle into Florida

Florida is in the middle of a string of unseasonably warm winter nights.

Well, technically late fall nights. The winter solstice is due to arrive at 5:44 a.m. EST on Wednesday, which will usher in the astrological winter season, running until Monday, March 20 at 6:29 a.m. EDT.

South Florida can usually count on getting some sort of winter chill, Arctic air that hustles down from the Canadian border faster than a bunch of college students heading to Fort Lauderdale for spring break. By the time it arrives, it can leave a chilly night or two in the 30s.

814temp-new
Ultra-warm winter temps are forecast for the U.S. East and Midwest as the year winds down. (Credit: NOAA/ CPC)

But for now, air conditioners are humming, flip-flops are flip-flopping, and sun tan lotion is flying off the shelf. There is no cold air in sight.

Miami reported a low on Saturday of 76, which busted the previous record warm low for the date set way back in … wait for it … 2015. Yup, some savvy meteorology types have noticed a trend here, although the term climate change is not getting a very friendly reception in Washington these days, so it’s best not to dwell on it.

Saturday’s low in West Palm Beach was 72 and the record for the date is 75, so no cigar. But Sunday morning’s apparent low was 76 at Palm Beach International Airport, and since the current record warm low for Dec. 18 is 73 (set in 2006), it looks like this one’s headed for the record books.

Fort Lauderdale reported a sultry 77-degree low on Sunday, while the coolest morning temp at Miami International Airport was a muggy 78.

The Dolphins aren’t the only thing that’s hot in South Florida.

Out in the Everglades, the alligators are checking their calendars twice and the black bears are yawning because let’s face it, there just hasn’t been much hibernation weather lately. Saturday’s high near Everglades City was a toasty 89, an observer reported to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Another unseasonably warm night and morning is due Monday, forecasters said.

Central Florida is unseasonably warm, too — Saturday’s low at Vero Beach was 70, busting the previous warm minimum temperature mark of 69 set in 1964.

The steamiest Saturday morning low in the state was in the Keys — Marathon checked in with a minimum temperature of 79 degrees.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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