Florida temps plunge into 50s with cold front, but quick rebound expected

It wasn’t exactly The Big Chill, but Monday night’s cold front was enough to shut air conditioners down all over Florida.

Temperatures dropped into the low 50s in parts of inland South Florida on Tuesday morning — with dew points to match — after a shot of cool, dry air from the north took hold.

Relative humidity was in the 40 percent range west of Lake Okeechobee.

Unofficially, Florida 8 a.m. temperatures ranged from the low- to mid-70s in the Keys to 69 in Miami Beach, 61 in West Palm Beach, 55 in Okeechobee, 51 in Lakeland, 50 in Gainesville and mid-50s in the panhandle.

The state’s West Coast had warmer temperatures with a west wind coming off the Gulf of Mexico.

The lows were far from record territory — the all-time April 25 low in West Palm Beach is 50 in 2005; 54 in Miami in 1943; 44 in Orlando in 2012 and 45 in Daytona Beach in 2005.

Normal lows in coastal South Florida this time of the year are near 70.

The strength of Monday afternoon’s cold front is demonstrated by temperature shifts — Melbourne tied a record high of 92 on Monday, matching a mark set in 1963. The temperature then plunged to 54 early Tuesday morning, a 38 degree drop.

The front was strong enough to clear the Bahamas and Cuba and make it into the Caribbean, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Tampa forecast

SUNSCREEN ADVISORY: Ideal beach weather is on tap this week, but the UV Index will be sky-high everywhere. (Credit: NWS-Tampa, above; NWS-Miami, below)

Tuesday forecast

Not surprisingly for late April, heat will rebuild quickly throughout Florida, pushing temperatures into the high 80s and even low 90s by the end of the week.

Forecast models show another front approaching the state late this weekend, the National Weather Service said, but it’s unclear how much of an impact it will have on Florida’s weather.

*

RECORD WATCH: CO2 levels reached a new milestone last week with a reading at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii of 410.28 parts per million on April 18.

That compares with 280 ppm in 1958. CO2 levels, which usually peak in April, hit 400 ppm in 2013.

Scientific American reported on April 21: “Right now we’re on track to create a climate unseen in 50 million years by mid-century.”

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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