West Palm Beach reached 91 on Thursday, the first 90-plus degree temperature of the year and the first time the temperature hit 90 or hotter since Oct. 8. The record for the date was 95 set in 2011.
It was 88 in Miami, 87 in Fort Lauderdale and 86 in Naples.
Unofficially it was 95 in Loxahatchee and it was in the upper 90s west of Lake Okeechobee. In Glades County, Palmdale reported a high of 97.
It was 91 in Fort Pierce, and 93 in Daytona Beach and Orlando.
It was 91 in Tampa and 90 in Fort Myers.
Temperatures are expected to cool slightly on Sunday with coastal highs in the mid-80s next week.
HURRICANE SEASON CAVEAT: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has backed off on predictions of an El Niño forming this summer or fall, now saying there’s an equal chance for neutral conditions or a weak El Niño in the tropical Pacific.
While most forecast models predict water temperatures more than .5 C over normal for the Pacific — the technical threshold for the warm water phenomenon — the higher temps may not last long enough to qualify as an El Niño. That’s five consecutive overlapping months.
As a result, the warmer water “may not significantly impact the atmospheric circulation,” they said.
It’s an important distinction because if the atmosphere isn’t affected, wind shear in the Tropical Atlantic may not be bumped up, as it generally is during an El Niño, or an approaching El Niño.
We’ll have to see if the new forecast affects preseason hurricane predictions. NOAA makes its 2017 forecast at the end of the month.