MONDAY UPDATE: Temperatures jumped into the low 80s and even the mid-80s in South and Central Florida Monday afternoon, the warmest weather since the holiday season.
It was 85 in Arcadia and 84 in Lake Wales, according to Weather Underground.
It was generally in the upper 70s on both coasts, although Miami reported 81 degrees just after noon. It was also 80 at Orlando Executive Airport, the first 80-degree reading since January 12.
A cold front due Tuesday is expected to push highs down below 70 in Central Florida until the weekend. A warming trend begins Friday.
RAINFALL FORECAST: Forecast models are still at odds over how much rain will fall on the Florida peninsula mid-week as a result of a stalled cold front. NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center hints at almost an inch of rain falling over the next week on South Florida’s East Coast. Luckily, no Arctic blast is associated with the upcoming cold front — it should only tease temps down slightly as winds remain out of the east off the Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service. (Image credit: NOAA/ WPC)
CAREENING TOWARD CATASTROPHE: If you want to know what the worst of drought can bring to an urban area, read Bob Henson’s piece on Weather Underground: “It’s True: Cape Town’s Water Supply is Three Months Away from a Shutdown.”
It’s been so far, so good this winter in the Florida peninsula, despite warnings that drought could form as a result of dry conditions caused by La Niña in the tropical Pacific. According to the latest analysis by the U.S. Drought Monitor, however, Moderate Drought, Severe Drought and Abnormally Dry conditions have been limited to the Florida panhandle.
The Central panhandle is in the grip of Severe Drought, but many locations on the peninsula have been running precipitation surpluses.
Florida is certainly one state where dire consequences can develop over the winter dry season, as it did in 2006-2008, when Lake Okeechobee hit an all-time low water level of 8.82 feet and the Kissimmee River didn’t flow for months.
Now it seems that Cape Town, South Africa, is just a few months away from what city officials call “Day Zero” — when the municipal water supply has virtually dried up and the city becomes incapable of supplying water to residents.
Cape Town is in the middle of its summer dry season, and if it doesn’t rain before April services will begin to get cut off.
That means “no water coming out the taps. Toilets cannot be flushed. Fire services cannot get water out of the fire hydrants. People will have to walk to water tankers to fill up drinking water bottles,” an official told Weather Undergound.
Officials are racing to get mobile desalinization plants online, and are drilling deeper to find more sources of groundwater. Even so, neighborhoods may need to be cut off for parts of the day in order to reduce demand.
Day Zero is predicted to occur on April 21.