Tuesday morning’s cool and crisp temperatures offered a refreshing change of pace around the Florida peninsula, especially as we head into the warm weather months of steamy temps without a break.
It was in the low 60s along much of the South Florida coast, with a few upper 50s west of Lake Okeechobee and also north of the Fort Myers area.
A Weather Underground observer reported 52 degrees north of Avon Park, and northeast of Tampa it was 51 degrees.
Also on the West Coast, it was in the mid- to upper-40s from Spring Hill north to Cross City. In North Florida, it was 44 in Lake City.
Panhandle temps were mostly in the 40s except 50s were spread across the immediate Gulf Coast.
The cool weather didn’t seem to make it down to the Keys, where it was in the mid-70s.
(Image credit: NOAA/ SPC)
WEEK-ENDING WEATHER: The next cold front rolls through Friday, and for now the Storm Prediction Center has taken South Florida off the severe weather map. The rest of the peninsula, though, from Lake Okeechobee north to the Georgia state line and west to around near Tallahassee, was under a 15 percent chance for severe weather on Friday.
That designation could continue to change, though, and forecasters in Miami said Tuesday morning: “It is still early to describe details about timing, impacts and duration of the potential severe weather.”
ULTIMATE WEATHER WINDOW: Weather forecasting has improved dramatically over the past decades and continues to get better. But there’s a limit to how far out weather can be predicted, a new study by Penn State concludes.
“The obvious question that has been raised from the very beginning of our whole field is, what’s the ultimate limit at which we can predict day-to-day weather in the future,” said Fuqing Zhang, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director of the Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques at Penn State. “We believe we have found that limit and on average, that it’s about two weeks.”
A “predictability limit” for weather forecasting was first proposed in the 1960s by Edward Lorenz, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician and meteorologist. He theorized that weather can’t be predicted beyon a certain point “in principle.”
Zhang’s conclusion about the two-week window is “remarkably closes to Lorenz’s estimate,” he said.
Researchers used the most reliable forecast models to predict weather under “near picture-perfect” initial conditions. Even then, predictions were reasonably accurate up to about two weeks.
“We have made significant advances in weather forecasting for the past few decades, and we’re able to predict weather five days in advance with high confidence now,” Zhang said. “If in the future we can predict additional days with high confidence, that would have a huge economic and social benefit.”