Late season cold front may bring Florida another round of cooler temps

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WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center upped chances for development of Invest 91L in the deep Central Atlantic on Wednesday to 50 percent. That’s a medium-range probability, and earned the system an orange coding. Forecasters said the system had become better organized and had developed gale-force winds. It has about two days to further strengthen — and possibly become Subtropical Storm Arlene — before being absorbed by another disturbance. See below for more information on 91L. (Credit: NHC)

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ORIGINAL POST: Have we finally seen the last of the cool air now that April is winding down? Maybe not.

The National Weather Service in Miami is predicting a gradual warm-up through the weekend for South Florida.

But the GFS is forecasting a strong cold front to move down the Florida peninsula early next week, dropping temperatures to 3-4 degrees below normal for the final week of the month. Normal highs are around 84 in Miami and 83 in West Palm Beach, and normal lows are in the upper 60s, so don’t look for any hard-core sweater weather.

However, GFS forecast maps show the possibility that some interior Central Florida locations could dip down close to 60 degrees. Even the Keys are expecting a slight cool-down as the front clears the entire state.

Between the front and an increase in moisture off the Atlantic, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center indicates rainfall accumulations in South Florida of between a quarter of an inch and a half-inch through next Tuesday.

Nothing that would make much of a dent in Florida’s ongoing drought.

The Lower Keys were getting some light rain overnight Monday and Tuesday morning, but the showers were expected to remain in the Florida Straits, according to National Weather Service forecasters in Key West.

Jacksonville area highs

While coastal South Florida temperatures have been in the high 70s and low 80s, North Florida has been heating up, with highs in the upper 80s to near 90 in places like Ocala and Gainesville. In South Florida, a few mid- to upper-80s are showing up in inland Collier County. (Credit: NWS-Jacksonville)

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EARLY SEASON KICKOFF? Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center were watching a non-tropical low deep in the Central Atlantic for signs of development. They gave it a 30 percent chance on Monday of becoming Subtropical Storm Arlene over the next couple of days as it moves toward the east.

Tropical and subtropical storms are actually pretty rare in April. The last one was Tropical Storm Ana in 2003.

Only five April storms — including depressions — have been recorded by NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division since record keeping began in 1851, although keep in mind that subtropical systems were not recognized until 1972.

Also note that experts say that an early start to the season is not an indication of an active season. Forecasts for 2017 are for a below normal hurricane season due to the brewing El Niño in the tropical Pacific, which tends to increase wind shear in the tropical Atlantic.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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