It’s only the end of April, but warm, sticky summer nights are upon us in South and Central Florida, with low temperatures forecast to approach the warmest ever recorded for the month.
West Palm Beach forecast lows Thursday and Friday nights are 78 degrees, just a degree shy of the all-time warmest for April set in 2011.
Thursday and Friday night National Weather Service forecast lows in Miami are slightly cooler at 77 and 76, but both would set new warm minimum temperature marks for the dates, records more than two decades old.
The warmest lows ever posted in Fort Lauderdale for the end of the month — a string of 79-degree lows from April 27-30 — could stand with expected minimum temperatures Friday and Saturday mornings at 77 degrees.
Water temperatures off southeastern Florida’s coast have jumped to around 79 degrees, and with southeasterly winds blowing over the peninsula from the Bahamas temperatures won’t have much of a chance to cool overnight.
Projected week ending lows in East-Central Florida are in the mid-70s, which would also be enough to break records.
Interior high temperatures this weekend are expected to soar well into the low 90s up and down the Florida peninsula.
Last Sunday’s 2-3 inches of rain in South Florida — with locally higher amounts — pulled most of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties out of the U.S. Drought Monitor’s Abnormally Dry category, but Severe Drought continues locked in to locations in Southwest and Central Florida.
In fact, the latest analysis released by the Drought Monitor showed an expansion of Moderate Drought conditions north of Orlando and edging up toward Northeast Florida. Moderate Drought has also returned to Florida’s extreme northern counties while Abnormally Dry conditions expanded in the panhandle.
It’s possible that another round of showers and thunderstorms — this time impacting the entire state rather than just South Florida — could be on the way next week, according to the National Weather Service.
After a warm and dry weekend, a front is expected to move into Florida Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said in Thursday’s weather discussions. “The front will have plenty of moisture ahead of it to promote showers and potentially thunderstorms,” they said. “As of right now, the front will also pack the ability to have some showers and thunderstorms along with it.”
A second front toward the end of next week “could, too, pack a bit of a punch,” they said, and forecast models are at least somewhat encouraging.
However, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center, tasked with projecting rainfall amounts up to seven days in advance, is suggesting light precipitation amounts over most of the Florida peninsula through next Thursday, May 4. Heavier rainfall looks possible in North Florida and the panhandle, based on the agency’s graphic forecasts.
The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-normal precipitation in Florida for the first week in May, and normal precipitation during the second week of the month.
HISTORIC HAIL STORM: The largest hail ever recorded in Key West fell 14 years ago on April 27, 2003. The thunderstorm that produced it delivered a 53-mph wind gust and hail up to 1.75 inches in diameter. (Credit: NWS-Key West)