January-October was warmest on record in Florida, NOAA says

Record warmest Jan.Oct

(Image credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

Florida had its warmest January-October period on record — with such records dating back to 1895 — the National Centers for Environmental Information reported this week.

Also, the state had its warmest October in terms of minimum temperatures. We’ve been seeing daily records up and down both coasts, not only in October but all summer, and so this is hardly a surprise.

Record maximum temps have been popping up with regularity from the panhandle down to the Keys, but there was no cigar awarded for October — it was only the second-warmest on record.

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(Image credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

Drilling down, almost every county in the state had its warmest January-October, with the exception of a few counties in Central Florida, including Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River, and three in the far western panhandle.

ODDS & ENDS: It’s always interesting to see record temperatures that beat a previous record set just last year. That happened again on Wednesday in Sanford, where a record minimum temp of 72 was set, beating last year’s record of 71.

The low in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday was a steamy 78 — easily breaking the old record of 76 set on the same date last year.

Key West tied a record high with 88, a mark set a year ago.

RECORD WATCH: More record warm lows were posted around South Florida on Wednesday. They occurred at Miami (76); West Palm Beach (79); Naples (75); and Key West (79).

ODDS & ENDS PART II: The heat index at Immokalee in Collier County Wednesday topped out at 97 degrees, 95 at Naples. The index was in the low 90s on the southeast coast.

Water temps are still 82-83 degrees off South Florida beaches.

The cold front that is forecast to take the edge off the heat in the Florida peninsula this weekend — with another shot of cool air on tap for next week — drove temperatures down to bitter cold January-type levels in the Upper Midwest.

It was in the single digits from Iowa to Minnesota to Wisconsin, with teens north of Chicago. Weather Underground even reported one rural below zero temperature of minus 1 in southern Minnesota.

A front due to pass through Florida Friday will bring “breezy [north-to-northeast] winds … [and] usher in cooler and drier air Saturday into Sunday, allowing temperatures to drop to near-normal and actually feel like fall for the first time this year,” the National Weather Service in Miami said Thursday.

The second shot of cooler air arrives Tuesday night and Wednesday, forecasters said.

Tampa smashes century-old high temperature record

Peak wind gusts Keys

RINSE AND REPEAT: “The endless summer will persist across the Florida Keys for the next seven days,” National Weather Service forecasters in Key West said Saturday. On Friday, fast-moving showers in the Keys produced wind gusts of up to 48 mph. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

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More long-standing temperature records fell around Florida on Friday, and the records weren’t just edged out — they were shattered. Daytona Beach, for example, set a record minimum low with 79. That beat the old record of 75, set in 1984, by a whopping 4 degrees.

High temperature records were equally impressive. Tampa busted a 100-year-old high temperature mark with 91, easily beating the old record of 89 set in 1919.

It was 93 in Sarasota, smashing the old record of 91 set in 1971.

Fort Myers tied a record high with 91, and Miami tied a record high with 89. Naples posted a new record high with 93, beating the previous record of 91 set in 2001.

Record warm minimum temps were broken in Orlando (75) and Fort Pierce (77).

Next Friday is November 1, and this is the time of the year when people start looking for meaningful cold fronts, but forget about it for at least the next week.

The next front is forecast to stall in Central Florida, and another one approaching the peninsula next weekend could stall out as well.

Fortunately, all of these stalled systems hike rain chances in areas that are still struggling with big precipitation deficits. Also, the tropical wave that washed over South Florida Saturday brought some decent rain totals to the southeast coast.

A few areas of heavy rain were reported in Broward County and Palm Beach County. A CoCoRaHS observer in Deerfield Beach reported almost 2 inches through Saturday morning, and an observer west of Boca Raton reported 1.58 inches.

Parts of central Brevard County picked up more than 2 inches, according to CoCoRaHS, while on the West Coast, Manatee County reported as much as 1.41 inches.

It looks like many or most observation centers around the Florida peninsula will end up with another month with below normal rainfall. In particular, Fort Lauderdale has a 2.93 inch shortfall through Friday for October, and added to a 7.26-inch deficit for September, the city is down 10.19 inches since September 1.

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TROPICS WATCH: Olga became post-tropical before it moved ashore in Louisiana Friday night. The storm brought almost 7 inches of rain to southeastern Louisiana through early Saturday morning, according to CoCoRaHS.

Tropical Storm Pablo was forecast to impact the Azores Saturday night with winds of 45 mph.

Olga forms in Gulf, Pablo spins up in North Atlantic

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(Image credit: NHC)

UPDATE II: Tropical Storm Olga — check. Tropical Storm Pablo — check.

The 2019 season’s 15th and 16th named storms formed Friday, Olga a Gulf of Mexico system with a shelf-life that’s expected to be measured in hours instead of days; and Pablo a North Atlantic system that’s forecast to miss the Azores wide to the right.

The 16 named storms officially takes the season over last year’s total of 15, and brings it to within one storm of the brutally active 2017 season, which had 18 named storms.

There have been five hurricanes this year with three majors.

On average, one additional named storm forms in the Atlantic in November.

Olga was forecast to bring 2-4 inches of rain to southeastern Louisiana over the next few days, as well as 2-4 inches over Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. But it was forecast to become post-tropical before it makes landfall in Louisiana.

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UPDATE I: Invest 97L was upgraded to Tropical Depression 17 by the National Hurricane Center Friday. Forecasters said it would quickly absorbed by an approaching cold front. “There is a chance that the system could briefly become a tropical storm this afternoon before it merges with the cold front,” the NHC said. “However, even if this occurs it will make little difference to the impacts on the northern Gulf coast.(Image credit: NOAA)

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ORIGINAL POST: The disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico was looking more formidable on satellite Friday, and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center were giving it a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression — or Tropical Storm Olga — as it moves toward the northern Gulf Coast.

“It appears likely that a short-lived tropical cyclone will form later today,” NHC forecaster Jack Bevin said Friday morning. (The NHC is also tracking a disturbance in the North-Central Atlantic, giving it 20 percent chance of becoming tropical or subtropical cyclone.)

But forecast models show the Gulf system going ashore near Louisiana as it merges with a cold front. If you want to see where Florida’s weekend weather will be coming from, look to the south and east in the Caribbean.

A couple of tropical waves are expected to dump rain over southern and central parts of the Florida peninsula — as well as the Keys — over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Periods of heavy rainfall will be possible, forecasters in Miami said.

In fact, it looks like central and southern parts of the Florida peninsula will be awash in tropical moisture over the weekend, with two things happening as a result: increased rain chances, and temperatures that are 5-10 degrees above average.

The normal high and low in Orlando this time of the year, for example, is 83 and 64. Forecast highs over the next several days are upper 80s to near 90, with lows in the low- to mid-70s.

In Tampa, normals are 82 and 66; with forecast highs in the upper 80s and lows in the mid-70s.

Normals in Miami are 85 and 72; forecast highs are near normal, but forecast lows are a steamy 5-7 degrees above average. Miami has had eight record temperatures this month, either record highs or record warm lows.

Naples posted another record high on Thursday with 95. That absolutely obliterated the previous record high of 91 set in 2001. Tampa also scored a record high with 92, beating the old record of 90 set in 2010. Ditto for Sarasota with 93. Fort Myers tied a record high with 93.

The low in Key West Thursday was only 82, beating the previous record of 81 set in 1980. Marathon also reported a record warm low temperature with 82.

Record warm lows were also set or tied in Daytona Beach (75); Orlando (72); Melbourne (79); and Fort Pierce (78).

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Forecast rainfall amounts for South Florida through Monday. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

Temps climb into upper 90s in South Florida; heat records shattered South and Central

Key West record

(Image credit: NWS-Key West)

It was no foolin’ around hot in South and Central Florida Monday, with temperatures soaring well into the 90s and heat index values as high as 105.

That was the reading by the FAA at Immokalee airport in Collier County at 3:35 p.m.

The heat index at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport hit 103; it reached 102 in Pembroke Pines; and 101 at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The heat index was 100 degrees in Vero Beach.

Actual temperatures were noteworthy as well, and several records were tied or broken.

A member of the National Weather Service’s Citizens Observer program in Weston, Broward County, reported a high of 97; and a member in West Boca Raton, near the Boca Woods Country Club in Palm Beach County, reported 96. An observer near Zoo Miami also reported 96.

Officially, it was 93 in Vero Beach — a temperature that crushed the old record high of 89 set in 2013.

Fort Pierce and Miami both tied record highs with 92 and 91, respectively. It was 91 in Orlando and Winter Haven; 93 in Pembroke Pines, Broward County. Fort Pierce’s high tied a mark last set 103 years ago in 1916.

Key West set a record high minimum temperature with with 83 degrees — and it was the latest date in the calendar year in which a low of 83 has ever been recorded.

Marathon tied both a record high with 90 and a record warm low with 83.

Record warm minimum temps were also tied or broken in at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (78); West Palm Beach (79); and Naples (78).

RAINFALL REPORT: Parts of Pinellas County and Hernando County on the West Coast received more than an inch of rain Monday. The Tallahassee area picked up around a quarter of an inch and around an inch fell in the Pensacola area.

Rain chances increase around the state toward the end of the week as another cold front slides through — minus any real cold air, of course.

The National Weather Service in Miami predicts it will shift back to the north over the weekend as a warm front.

They’re baaaaack! Triple digit heat index values make return appearance

Panhandle storms

Strong to severe storms may pummel the panhandle and North Florida Monday, but the front won’t make it much farther south, according to the National Weather Service. A front expected on Wednesday will be more potent, forecasters said. (Image credit: NWS-Tallahassee)

We’re a month into the fall season, but there’s not much evidence for it on the weather map. Miami hit 92 on Sunday, breaking a 109-year-old high temperature record of 91 set in 1910.

Fort Lauderdale also broke a record high with 92, beating the old record of 90 set in 1995.

And here’s a nice forecast to start out the last 10 days of October: “Heat index values as high as 102.”

That’s the situation in South Florida over the next couple of days, according to the National Weather Service, at least until another cold front slides down the peninsula on Wednesday. That ups rain chances, too. especially since the front is forecast to stall over extreme southern Florida or the Keys, then move back north as a warm front.

The GFS shows a decent soaking for southern parts of the state, a good thing since some parts of southeastern Florida were basically skunked by Nestor and its aftermath.

Sunday was mostly dry everywhere, the exception being coastal Miami-Dade and Collier counties, where a little more than a half-inch fell in some places. A CoCoRaHS observer in Fort Myers reported almost an inch, however.

MORE RECORDS: Vero Beach tied a record high Sunday with 91, matching the mark set in 2006; and it broke a record warm minimum with 78, beating the previous record of 77 set in 2017.

Record warm minimum temps were also set Sunday in Miami (80 degrees); Fort Lauderdale (81); West Palm Beach (79); Naples (77); and Orlando (74).

Naples smashes 75-year-old record high; heavy rain possible mid-week

ECFL rainfall projections

(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

RECORD WATCH: The heat moderated slightly in the panhandle on Saturday — highs were only in the mid-90s — but Naples baked under record heat. It was 96, eclipsing a 75-year-old record of 95 set back in 1944.

Tampa tied a record high with 93, last set in 1990, while Sarasota busted a record high with 94, beating the old record of 93 set in 1990.

Melbourne posted a record warm low Saturday with 80 degrees, tying a mark set in 2007.

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RAINFALL EVENT UPDATE: With a frontal system coming down from the north, and a trough of low pressure drifting up from the Caribbean, the Florida peninsula is forecast to be in the soup by mid-week.

The National Weather Service’s high-end rainfall projections show more than 3.5 inches falling in the Orlando area through Wednesday morning; and up to 2.5 inches falling on Florida’s southwest coast, with lesser amounts on the southeastern coast. West-Central precip chances are in the 40-50 percent range.

By Wednesday, “locally heavy rainfall will be possible along the coast,” forecasters in Jacksonville said.

Drier weather returns for the weekend, forecasters said.

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TROPICS WATCH: National Hurricane Center forecasters are watching one disturbance and another potential disturbance in the North Atlantic. A system in the North-Central Atlantic, between Bermuda and the Azores, was moving west with a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical or subtropical cyclone by the middle of the week.

A second system, forecast to form by mid-week a little closer to the Mid-Atlantic Coast was given a 30 percent chance of tropical or subtropical development over the next five days.

Sunday’s GFS continued where Saturday’s left off, depicting a low in the southern Caribbean sloshing over Central America, back into the Caribbean and over Cuba, then swiping the southeast Florida Coast and the Northwestern Bahamas on the way out to sea.

The low would begin to spin up a week from Monday. It’s still pretty far out, and the European (ECMWF) has nothing at the end of its run, although the Canadian (CMC) has the Caribbean system on its 10-day map.

The German ICON has the system forming in the southern Caribbean next weekend, but not the Navy’s NAVGEM.

The GFS Legacy is no longer being run.

All-time October heat record for Tallahassee; a zigzagging hurricane that hit the Keys

Hurricane Inez

HURRICANE HISTORY: Here’s a reminder that hurricanes can take some odd-ball tracks with twists and turns. Fifty-three years ago on Friday, Hurricane Inez plowed across the Florida Keys after a destructive romp through the Greater Antilles. Inez came up from the Caribbean and followed the southern coast of Cuba until it made a hard right turn to the north-northeast into the northwestern Bahamas. After that it stalled, then made another turn toward the west-southwest and walloped the Keys with gusts of up to 110 mph. At its peak, Inez was a strong Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

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RELENTLESS: The high in Tallahassee on Thursday reached a scorching 97 degrees — the warmest temperature ever recorded in the city in October.

What was the previous record high for October? That was set the day before on Wednesday, 96 degrees. The long-standing all-time October record of 95 — set in 1941 — was tied on October 1.

To the west just off I-10, Crestview reached 101 degrees.

Down the coast, Naples tied a record high Thursday with 94. That was set in 1990.

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7 day rainfall
The seven-day rainfall forecast shows heaviest precip in South Florida and the Keys. (Image credit: NOAA/ WPC)

WET WEEK? An approaching front resulting in southwest winds next week could bring heavy rain to South Florida, the National Weather Service says.

“A conditional risk for flooding could eventually materialize in the Monday night to Wednesday time frame across South Florida,” forecasters said in their Friday discussion in Miami.

In Central Florida, rain chances remain at around 20-30 percent through Tuesday before jumping to 50 percent on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tampa’s rain chances range from 50-60 percent all of next week.

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HERE’S A COOL ULTRA-LONG-RANGE FORECAST: It could turn out to be in weather fantasy-land, but the GFS is showing a cold front that means business sliding down the entire Florida peninsula around Friday, October 18, pushing temperatures into the high 40s in the western panhandle and below 60 as far south as Orlando.

Under this scenario, temperatures the next morning, on Saturday October 19 would dip into the low- to mid-60s in parts of South Florida, with highs topping out in the 70s around Lake Okeechobee.

Nothing to hang your hat on at this point, but a reminder that, yes, Virginia, autumn really does come to Florida — you just gotta have some patience. It looks a little different from northern climates but is nonetheless spectacular.

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NWS Melbourne anniversary

METEOROLOGICAL BLAST FROM THE PAST: The National Weather Service office in Melbourne is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its opening this month. Things started out small and quiet but have gotten busy! (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)