Mid-week rain, but no cool-down, is in the forecast for much of the Florida peninsula. (Credit: NWS-Miami)
Strong storms — with winds gusting to near 30 mph — are possible around South Florida Wednesday and Thursday as a low pressure system cranks up in the Gulf of Mexico and slides across the Florida peninsula.
The southern half of the peninsula could get up to 2 inches of rain from the system, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne. NWS forecasters in Miami are calling for an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday as the low meanders off the Southeast Coast and then loops back toward shore.
The low should be swept away on Friday, but there’s no cold air associated with its aftermath, according to forecasters.
In fact, highs on Friday and Saturday should be in the low- to mid-80s around South Florida before another weak cold front drops temperatures back into the 70s on Sunday.
The question is how much will the rainfall cut into the state’s mounting precipitation deficit. Through Monday, Miami still has not had any measurable precipitation in February, and many locations around the Florida peninsula have had less than a tenth of an inch.
TORRID TEMPS CONTINUE: Temperatures more typical of May continue in the Midwest, Great Lakes States and the Northeast. Chicago hit 70 on Monday, busting an 87-year-old high temperature record of 64 set in 1930.
St. Louis experienced twin temperature records with a high of 79 and a low of 52. The 52-degree low tied a record set 139 years ago — in 1878.
It was 77 in Nashville; 66 in Detroit, breaking the old record of 64 set in 1884; 61 in Pittsburgh; and 68 in Washington.
Changes may be in the wind, however.
The NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center forecast for the first half of March, released Friday, calls for below normal temperatures taking hold in the Midwest, from the Dakotas east to the Great Lakes and into New England.
Only a few states — Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon — are expected to have above average temperatures from March 4-17.