NEXT WEATHER MAKER: The cold front entering the panhandle Thursday was on its way to the Keys, where it was expected to wash out over the weekend. Temperatures will edge down slightly over the weekend before rebounding again next week, according to the National Weather Service. (Image credit: NOAA)
That Mickey Mouse suit is starting to get a little uncomfortable. Orlando tied an 81-year-old record high Wednesday with a sultry 88 degrees, matching the mark originally set way back in 1939.
Record highs were also set in Sanford with 87, beating the old record of 86 set in 2018; Leesburg with 86 (tied with 2013); and Jacksonville (high of 84 matched the record set just one year ago). Naples tied a record high for the second day in a row with 89.
Record warm minimum temps were tied or set in Fort Lauderdale (74); West Palm Beach (76); and Naples (72).
National Weather Service forecasters said earlier this week they wouldn’t be surprised to see a few 90-degree temps around South Florida, and that’s what happened Wednesday, with a few popping up out in the Everglades.
Naples Municipal Airport, where official temperatures are kept by the National Weather Service in Miami, reported a high of 89.6 degrees, but it was rounded down to 89. But an unofficial observation site near Everglades City reported a high of 91. And the Bureau of Land Management reported a high of 90 at Big Cypress Swamp north of Alligator Alley.
A cold front that was just entering the Florida panhandle today was forecast to roll down the peninsula on Friday, bringing scattered rain showers as it heads to the Keys, where forecasters expect it to stall out.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being a lallapalooza that brings heavy rain and thunderstorms, followed by a shot of frigid air, this front should rank at about a minus-1. The National Weather Service is calling for less than a quarter of an inch in Central Florida and perhaps up to a third of an inch at the southern tip of the peninsula as the front stalls just to the south.
Then, after a Saturday with close to normal temperatures, another warm-up begins with more highs in the 80 forecast for next week.
A shot of more wintry air is still suggested by forecast models for the last weekend of the month.
DROUGHT UPDATE: Areas of West-Central Florida affected by Abnormally Dry conditions shrank slightly in the latest analysis of drought conditions in Florida by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Sarasota County returned to normal status and the designation was removed from parts of Manatee, Hillsborough and Hardee counties.
However, Abnormally Dry conditions spread in North Florida, crossing the state from around Citrus County on the Gulf to Flagler County on the Atlantic. A small swath of the Central Panhandle remained under Moderate Drought.