February in Florida: Temps running up to 8 degrees above average

WCFL temps

Friday’s forecast highs on Florida’s West Coast look toasty, especially inland. (Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

The first week of February was unusually warm from Tallahassee to Key West, with cities ranging from 3-8 degrees above average for this time of the year.

South Florida, from Miami to West Palm Beach was around 3 degrees on the plus side at the bottom end due to breezes off the relatively cool Atlantic. But Tampa was 5.5 degrees above average as was Fort Myers, where five of the first seven days of the month topped out in the 80s.

Temperatures ran 5 degrees above average in the Keys, 4.5 degrees on the upside in Orlando, and an amazing 8.4 degrees in Tallahassee, which had a high of 80 on Thursday.

Jacksonville was 82, and 80s were the norm up and down the peninsula and into the Keys, capped by highs of 84 in Winter Haven and Marathon.

Above normal temperatures are forecast to continue through at least February 21, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

But here’s a big caveat. Friday morning’s run of the GFS shows some brief polar vortex-type weather the weekend of February 16, with low temperatures in the 30s in North Florida. Temps warm back up quickly the following week, according to this forecast model.

But the long-range climate model CFS predicts a cool end to February and a cool start to March in the southeastern U.S.

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FAB FABRIC: Will it be the next Big Thing in the clothing biz? Researchers have developed a fabric that can cool people when it gets hot and warm them when the temperature drops.

The fabric developed at the University of Maryland consists of specially engineered yarn coated with a conductive metal that compacts under hot and humid conditions, which allows heat to escape from the body. When it gets cold, the fabric blocks the heat from escaping.

“The human body is a perfect radiator. It gives off heat quickly,” said Min Ouyang, professor of physics at UMD and one of the authors of the study about the material, which appeared in the journal Science. “For all of history, the only way to regulate the radiator has been to take clothes off or put clothes on. But this fabric is a true bidirectional regulator.”

The University says the fabric isn’t ready to be sold to the public yet, although a news release notes that the carbon coating that makes it possible “can be easily added during standard dying process.”

“I think it’s very exciting to be able to apply this gating phenomenon to the development of a textile that has the ability to improve the functionality of clothing and other fabrics,” Ouyang said.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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