Miami had 22 days of 80 or better in January — the third-highest number of 80 degree days for the month on record, the National Weather Service reported.
Only five cold fronts moved through South Florida, which led to Abnormally Dry conditions being declared by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Only a few sites, including Miami Beach and Miami International Airport, saw above normal rainfall in January.
National Weather Service meteorologists said 12 record warm temperatures were recorded in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Naples in January — most of them record warm minimum temperatures. Three record cool highs were recorded on Jan. 29 when a cold front stalled over the Keys and warm air from the southern Gulf of Mexico over-ran the cool air, giving South Florida a rare cool and rainy day.
Miami had the 13th warmest January on record, Fort Lauderdale had the 15th warmest, and Naples had its 14th warmest. West Palm Beach was also above normal.
Forecasters noted that an abnormally warm and dry February are in the long-range forecast by NOAA.
They added: “Although the outlooks calls for increased odds of warmer than normal temperatures, cold snaps can still occur and lead to freezing conditions over parts of South Florida in February and early March.
“Rip currents become an increasing concern in March and April as warmer waters and an
increase in beach attendance combine with typical springtime east winds.
Wildfire season begins to peak in March and April. The potential for drier-than-normal
conditions this spring may cause an active wildfire season, as well as lead to drought
Normal highs in Miami edge up to 78 on Tuesday and 79 on Feb. 19. Fort Lauderdale’s normal high will be 78 on Friday. Normal high temperatures ticked up to 76 in West Palm Beach on Friday, and rise to 77 on Feb. 14.
WEATHER BUZZ: AccuWeather has begun issuing mosquito forecasts for South Florida. Although the winter has been mostly dry, for forecast is for “very high” mosquito activity through at least Tuesday.
Image: January rainfall in South Florida (top) and departure from average (bottom). (Credit: NWS-Miami)