South Florida logs record temps, but changes may be ahead

tampa-forecast

The forecast for Florida’s West Coast is for temperatures in the 80s into next weekend. But changes may be afoot. (Credit: NWS-Tampa)

Temperature records are being challenged in South Florida, and spring-like warmth is expected this week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. But a pattern change to a more wintry setup may be in the works for the start of February in the Eastern U.S.

Florida could start the month with some cooler than normal temperatures after a very toasty January featuring balmy days and nights from Key West to Jacksonville.

Miami tied a record high Sunday with 83, matching a mark set in 1993. Fort Lauderdale tied a record warm minimum Sunday with 72, matching the mark set in 2013.

West Palm Beach checked in with an apparent low of 71 Monday, just a degree off an 88-year-old record of 72 set in 1929.

Monday morning’s low in Palm Beach was 72.

The low was also 72 in Key West Monday which was short of record territory — but by 8 a.m. it was 76, the warmest in the continental U.S.

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Early February may be cooler than normal in the Southeast — a big change from January. (Credit: NOAA/ CPC)

Although NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecast map has the eastern two-thirds of the country bathed in shades of deep red through the end of January, indicative of above average temperatures over the next two weeks, the new three- and four-week forecast released Friday suggests a cool start to February in the Southeast.

Florida temperatures may slip back into the normal- to slightly-below-normal range through the first week to 10 days of February.

After a long string of highs near 80 and lows in the 60s and lower 70s in South Florida, highs may top out closer to 70 with lows in the 50s during the first week of the new month, according to AccuWeather.

The CPC’s forecast map shows cooler than average temperatures through Feb. 10 stretching from eastern Texas through the Mississippi Valley to the coast of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, including the Florida panhandle and east into North Florida.

The cool start to February may not set the tone for the entire month, however. AccuWeather predicts a warm second half of February in Florida.

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CLIMATE CHANGE IS LOCAL: The Northeastern U.S. will warm faster than other parts of the country, and will cross the plus-2-degree Celsius threshold 20 years earlier than the global average, according to a new study released by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“The fastest warming region in the contiguous U.S. is the Northeast, which is projected to warm by 3 degrees C when global warming reaches 2 degrees C,” researchers Ambarish Karmalkar and Raymond Bradley wrote in their study, which appears in the current issue of PLOS ONE.

“The eastern U.S. is projected to experience wetter winters and the Great Plains and Northwest are projected to experience drier summers in the future,” they added.

Their conclusions were based on climate model simulations.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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