CLEARLY, NOT A GOOD MORNING COMMUTE: Dense fog covered the Everglades, and parts of the West Coast up into Central Florida, on Friday morning. A Dense Fog Advisory was in place through 9 a.m. This image was from a Florida Department of Transportation camera on I-75 in the Everglades at 7:30 a.m. (Image credit: FDOT/ NWS-Miami)
Lots of temperature records were set or tied around the Florida peninsula on Thursday — the last full day before a cold front was poised to knock temps back a bit closer to normal for this time of the year.
Particularly noteworthy was Jacksonville’s high of 89, which shattered the previous record high for the date of 85 set 61 years ago in 1959. It was also the warmest February day ever recorded. The previous record high for February was 88 set on February 26, 1962.
In South Florida, the record warm minimum in West Palm Beach was 77. It was the kind of sultry night you normally don’t see until July. This beat the old record by a remarkable 4 degrees — and that record low of 73 was just set two years ago in 2018.
Record highs were set or tied in Miami (86); Daytona Beach (86); Orlando (89); Sanford (88); Fort Pierce (88); Vero Beach (87); Gainesville (85); and Leesburg (88).
Palmdale, in Glades County, reached 90; as did Weston and Plantation, in Broward County.
Record warm minimum temperatures were set or tied in Fort Lauderdale (76); Naples (72); Daytona Beach (69); Orlando (69); Vero Beach (72); and Leesburg (72).
(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)
EYES ON THE PACIFIC: In an update that will surely influence early hurricane season forecasts, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on Thursday said ENSO Neutral conditions are favored in the tropical Pacific through spring and into summer. That means water temperatures near normal.
During El Niño — warmer than average Pacific temps — hurricane/ tropical storm formation is undercut by strong wind shear in the Atlantic. During La Niña — cooler than normal temperatures — wind shear eases up in the Atlantic and a busy hurricane season generally ensues.
Hurricane experts, like Colorado State University’s Philip Klotzbach, say that during neutral conditions other factors in the Atlantic become more important. These include water temperatures, the amount of dry air and atmospheric pressure and the presence — or lack of presence — of Saharan dust.
Note that neutral conditions were in place for the peak of the hurricane season last year, and September hurricane activity was robust.
CSU will issue its first hurricane season forecast on April 2.