Forecasters see cool start to March; meteor smacks Dominican Republic

Forecast rainfall

The cold front that eventually makes it through South Florida on Wednesday and Thursday is expected to stall over North Florida as early as Monday, delivering some heavy rainfall to the area. (Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)

SUNDAY UPDATE: Another round of heavy rain showers hit Palm Beach County’s coast Saturday night, leading to the cancellation of the Houston Astros/ Washington Nationals first spring training game in West Palm Beach, a game that was billed as a World Series rematch for the teams.

The teams were scheduled to meet Sunday afternoon. Rain chances were forecast to diminish throughout the day. Saturday night’s game was canceled after two innings.

Although the rain wasn’t as heavy as Friday night’s round of showers, a CoCoRaHS observer in Boynton Beach, south of West Palm, reported 0.93 of an inch in his backyard bucket. Parts of West Palm Beach received more than half an inch.

Coastal Broward County picked up around a quarter of an inch, and a few hundredths of an inch fell on the Treasure Coast. There were also some light showers in the Upper Keys.

Temperatures rebound into the 80s through Wednesday, after which a potent cold front is forecast to drive overnight temperatures down into the 40s, even in parts of coastal South Florida, with highs only in the 60s through the early part of next weekend. That’s around 10-plus degrees below normal for this time of the year.

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Forecast for the first week of March. (Image credit: NOAA/ CPC)

ORIGINAL POST: Go figure. Meteorological winter ends next Saturday, and December 1 – February 29 is almost certain to go into the books with well above normal temperatures for the season. But just as spring gets ready to launch, a shot of Arctic air is poised to give Florida a January-type chill.

“Confidence is building that a chillier pattern may emerge behind the front late in the week,” National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said in their Saturday morning forecast discussion.

Friday morning lows/ Friday afternoon forecast highs: Miami, 53 and 67; Orlando, 42 and 60; Tampa, 44 and 62; Jacksonville, 37 and 60.

Forecast for Sunday, March 1: Miami barely makes 70; Orlando stays in the 60s on Sunday and doesn’t make 72 until Monday; ditto for Tampa, which makes 73 on Monday, the second day of March. (Weather Underground forecasts)

Ultra-long-term, AccuWeather is calling for below normal temperatures through most of March. And, as mentioned yesterday, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal precipitation in Florida during March.

The new eight- to 14-day forecast issued by NOAA Friday calls for only two states to have below normal temperatures through the first week of March — Florida and Alaska.

The reaction of many Florida residents will be, well, enjoy the cool temps while you can because some serious heat can’t be too far away. But tourists and spring breakers who are beach-bound in March might be a little disappointed.

However, the pattern could change later in the month, as indicated by the CPC’s four-week forecast, which was also issued Friday. That contradicts the long-range AccuWeather forecast, calling for above normal temperatures in Florida from March 7-20.

RAINFALL REPORT: Most of the U.S. was dry Friday, the one exception being Florida’s East Coast and particularly, the southeast coast. The action was focused on coastal Palm Beach County, where 1.20 inches of rain was reported through 7 a.m. Saturday on Singer Island, according to CoCoRaHS.

An observer in the Boca Raton area reported 1.06 inches; and an observer in Deerfield Beach, Broward County, reported 1.16 inches.

Miami-Dade had just a few sprinkles, while observers on the Treasure Coast reported a few hundredths of an inch.

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE: A “small” space rock crashed into the atmosphere above the Dominican Republic during the early morning hours on Friday, Spaceweather.com reported.

“The fireball was so bright, many cameras recorded the flash,” science writer Tony Phillips said. A webcam in the U.S. Virgin Islands captured the event.

“An all-sky camera operated by the Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe in Puerto Rico also saw it.”

Locals may be out looking for meteorites this weekend.

Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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