(Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)
Jacksonville smashed a 62-year-old record high Friday with 85 degrees, beating the previous mark of 84 set in 1957. It was 86 in Gainesville, which beat the old record of 85 also set in 1957.
The average first date for an 85-degree high in Jacksonville is March 16, according to the National Weather Service, and the average first date for a high of 86 in Gainesville is March 26.
Temperatures were set to tumble in North Florida Saturday as a cold front rolled through from the northwest, a system that’s expected to stall out in Central Florida and bring strong winds to the entire peninsula.
A Wind Advisory was issued for Northeastern Florida for gusts of up to 35 mph and a Gale Watch was posted for Atlantic coastal waters south to Palm Coast. Wind gusts near 40 mph were forecast for off-shore areas.
MEANWHILE IN THE PACIFIC: Hawaii is bracing for a hit from an intense low pressure system in the Pacific that could trigger wind gusts of up to 60 mph over the weekend. A High Wind Watch was in effect and the National Weather Service told residents to expect power outages and hazardous driving conditions.
“This is the strongest forecast kona low that I have witnessed near Hawaii in my 25-plus years living on Oahu,” Steven Businger, an expert on kona storms and chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, told Weather Underground on Friday.
Writing on Weather Underground’s Category 6 blog, Bob Henson said there was a “marginal potential” for the low to develop into a subtropical storm, which is supported by several forecast models. The first name on the storm list for the Central Pacific is Akoni.
“In the unlikely event that Akoni does manage to form, its formation location near would be unprecedented in the historical record,” Henson said. “According to statistics compiled by NOAA, since the satellite era began in the 1970s, only two named storms have formed in the Central Pacific in January or February: Category 3 Hurricane Ekeka of 1992 and Category 2 Hurricane Pali of 2016.”
But they both formed more than 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.