BEACH WEATHER RETURNS: After three days of hold-on-to-your-hat conditions, with cool temperatures and spotty showers, it’s time to head back to the beach. Yes, there were some brave souls at Mid-town Beach in Palm Beach on Sunday, when the high hit 86, who ventured out onto the sand. But with winds gusting over 35 mph it was less than ideal, to say the least, with lots of wind-blown sand stinging their faces and very rough surf..
Calmer winds are forecast Tuesday and Wednesday with sunny skies and highs approaching 80, before the next cold front approaches Thursday night. By the weekend, cooler temps are expected with highs only around 70. But the cold front comes back north as a warm from late in the weekend and stalls over South Florida, bringing rain chances up to 50 percent, according to the National Weather Service.
In fact, forecasters said in their Tuesday morning analysis from Miami: “There are signals for the potential of a heavy rain event.” The forecast remains uncertain, they said. For now, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is forecasting three-quarters of an inch of rain for coastal Palm Beach County late in the weekend and into early next week.
CONFIRMED: The National Weather Service in Miami confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in South Florida early Monday morning. Both were EF-0 to EF-1, which pack wind speeds of from 65 mph to 110 mph.
The first slammed Palm Beach Gardens just west of Florida’s Turnpike at 1:39 a.m. and moved east-northeast toward Juno Beach with winds of up to 90 mph. It caused damage in both cities, including damage to two schools by the time it ended at 1:47 a.m.
The second occurred in the Miami Springs area at 3:45 a.m. and packed winds of 107 mph. It caused damage in Miami Springs and Hialeah before it ended at 3:48 a.m.
Blogger Bob Henson at Weather Underground notes that there have been 91 tornado reports in January by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, which would make it the second-most active January for tornadoes since such records began in 1950.
In January 1999, 212 tornadoes were logged, making it the most active.
Interestingly, 1999 was also a weak La Niña winter that followed a very strong El Niño year. A strong El Niño was also in place last winter, and it was widely blamed for a lot of stormy weather in Florida and the southern tier of U.S. states.
That pattern did not hold true following the 1982-83 El Niño, according to Henson. January 1984 was a relatively quiet tornado month.