Gusty winds, cool temps expected in Florida this weekend

monday-morning-lows

Mid-50s are expected by Monday morning along Florida’s southeast coast. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

We’re entering the meat-and-potatoes of the winter season, with below zero weather in the Upper Midwest, snow heading for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast — and cool South Florida temperatures.

Temps from Miami up to West Palm Beach should dip into the 50s at night with highs struggling to hit 70 into the weekend and early next week. Cooler conditions are expected inland and on the West Coast.

Even so, there don’t appear to be any Arctic fronts on the way to Florida, and new long-range forecasts suggest a return to slightly above-normal temperatures later this month.

814temp-new
More above average temperatures are expected for the middle of the month. (Credit: NOAA/ CPC)

As has been the case over the last several years — and even the last decade — it looks like the above-normal warmth will be concentrated in overnight lows, rather than unusually warm daytime highs.

During the upcoming weekend, wind chills in Chicago and other areas of the Upper Midwest will be as low as 15 below zero, and snow and ice is headed for the I-95 corridor.

According to the National Weather Service in Miami, meanwhile, the cold front that is bringing all the mayhem to the U.S. Southeast will blow through South Florida Saturday night, capping Sunday’s high temperatures in the mid-60s with winds gusting over 30 mph.

Still, projected lows along the coast in the upper 50s are right around average for this time of the year, and minimum temps are forecast to return to the mid-60s by the middle of next week.

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beijing_air_pollution-_12691254574

Smog envelopes Beijing in this 2014 photo. Air pollution in places like China and India was one of the top Weather Underground stories in 2016. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

For the third straight year in a row, 2016 was the hottest on record worldwide, according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground.

It’s the first three-year string of unprecedented global records since such data gathering began in 1880.

“About 0.2 degrees (Celsius) of this warming was due to the strong El Niño event that ended in May 2016, and the remainder was due to the long-term warming of the planet from human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide,” Masters says. “Assuming that all nations who agreed to the Paris Climate Accord in 2015 fulfill their pledges, Earth is on track to see 2.3 degrees of warming over pre-industrial levels by 2050.”

He ranked air pollution and its consequences as the second-biggest weather story of 2016. Smog has become particularly deadly in India and China, he says.

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Studies have shown that the Gulf Stream could remain remarkably stable even if global warming advances as forecast. But new research by Yale University incorporating larger increases in atmospheric CO2 suggests that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which includes the Gulf Stream, will likely “collapse” in about 300 years.

The consequences, according to the study’s authors: “A prominent cooling over the northern North Atlantic and neighboring areas, sea ice increases over the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian seas and to the south of Greenland, and a significant southward rain-belt migration over the tropical Atlantic.”

The largest social impacts would be in Great Britain and Scandinavia, which would lose heating generated by the Gulf Stream.

The study was published Jan. 4 in the journal Science Advances.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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