Forecasters were calling Thursday for a slow warm-up, on Florida’s West Coast as well as across the peninsula, with temperatures climbing back to near 80 by the middle of next week. Another cold front, not as strong as this week’s front, will drop temperatures a bit on Monday morning, but then a more significant warm-up takes hold. (Credit: NWS-Tampa)
THURSDAY EARLY MORNING TEMPS AROUND FLORIDA: Miami, 53; Weston, 39; Immokalee, 42; Fort Lauderdale, 51; West Palm Beach, 46; Naples, 47; Homestead, 50; Key West, 60, Fort Pierce, 45; Vero Beach, 44; Sebring, 43; St. Cloud, 36; Lake Panasoffkee (north of Bushnell), 29; Lake City, 29, Tallahasse, 28.
REGIONAL: Abel Santamaria Airport, north-central Cuba, 55; Havana, 64; Santiago de Cuba, 72; Freeport, Bahamas, 56; Nassau, 67
ORIGINAL POST: Spring breakers were probably second-guessing their decision to spend their holiday in Florida this year as temperatures plummeted up and down the peninsula.
It’s kind of hard to play Beach Blanket Bingo when the wind chill sinks down into the 30s and 40s.
Wednesday early morning temperatures around Florida ranged from 67 in Key West to 58 in Miami, 48 in the Everglades west of Fort Lauderdale, 49 in LaBelle, the low 40s around Orlando and the mid-30s in the north from Live Oak to Jacksonville.
It was in the mid-60s as far south as northern Cuba and the Central Bahamas.
The unusually cold mid-March weather will continue through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, with temperatures approaching records in some areas of the state.
It looks like Wednesday’s record-cool high of 62 in West Palm Beach may be safe, but just barely, with a forecast high of 65. Thursday morning’s forecast low of 52 would be well off the record low of 43 set in 1988.
Miami’s forecast high of 70 on Wednesday won’t come close to the record of 61 set in 1940, and the record low of 44 set in 1988 looks safe with a forecast low Thursday morning of 54.
Naples is expected to hit 46 Thursday morning, a far cry from the record of 33.
A freeze warning was issued for North Florida from a line just north of Tampa on the West Coast to around Daytona Beach on the East Coast.
“There will be slight potential for freezing temps in rural interior areas, mainly north of I-4,” National Weather Service forecasters in Melbourne said in their Wednesday analysis. “However, advection freezes in central Florida are exceedingly rare by mid March.
“Indeed, record [minimum temperatures] near freezing on this date required the cold air on the backside of the 1993 “Storm of the Century”, while only [Orlando] has recorded below freezing temps on the 16th, back in 1932.”
Temperatures are expected to remain below normal through the weekend, but the long-range forecast is for above average temperatures for the remainder of March and into the first week of April. NOAA is predicting a wet first week of the month, however.
AccuWeather is forecasting temperatures to creep up into the mid-80s toward mid-April in South Florida — about average for the time of the year — with average lows in the mid-60s, actually quite pleasant for April if that pans out.