Florida sizzles with holiday heat; keeping an eye out for Tropical Storm Don

Tampa holiday weather

Independence Day extremes in Tampa. (Credit: NWS-Tampa)

When the Continental Congress gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia 241 years ago, Thomas Jefferson noted that the temperature was a pleasant 76 degrees.

It would have been an uncomfortable meeting with today’s weather — the forecast high in Philly is 90.

In fact, it’s hot-hot-hot from the Mid-Atlantic to the Southeast, with heat index values in the triple digits throughout Florida.

Tallahassee heat index

Triple-digit heat is expected throughout the state. (Credit: NWS-Tallahassee)

In North Florida, the heat index will hit 107 in Jacksonville, according to the National Weather Service. It will be 106 in Tallahassee and around 100 in South and Central Florida.

Afternoon thunderstorms forecast for the interior and West Coast are in the forecast, but they will likely move out before the fireworks move in.

More record warm lows were set or tied in South Florida Monday and Tuesday. It was 83 in Miami, breaking the previous record warm minimum of 82 set in 1976.

Records were tied in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale with lows of 81 and 82, respectively. Tuesday’s apparent low at Palm Beach International Airport was 83, which should be good enough to tie an 87-year-old record set in 1930.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami said we can expect more record-setting morning heat the rest of the week.

two_atl_5d0

The low in the Atlantic is close to becoming a tropical cyclone. (Credit: NHC)

TROPICS TALK: Invest 94L appeared to be nearing tropical depression status on Tuesday morning, and National Hurricane Center forecasters were giving it a 70 percent chance of developing by Thursday and an 80 percent chance by the weekend.

Forecast models continue to zig and zag, but the trend seems to be pointing toward a very weak system — if it can make it to the Bahamas.

Whether it ultimately makes it to the U.S. East Coast in any recognizable form, or if it just becomes a rain maker, is yet to be seen. It’s a slow-moving system and conditions ahead of it are constantly changing.

Odds are, though, that we’ll have Tropical Storm Don before all is said and done.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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