It’s official — 2020 was the hottest year on record around South Florida. Despite a chilly December, annual temperature records were set in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Naples.
In the case of Miami and Naples, last year edged out 2019 as the warmest year on record.
In Central Florida, Leesburg tied 2017 as the warmest year on record.
Note that in some Florida cities, records only go back to the 1940s or 1950s, but in West Palm Beach they date back to 1888, and in Miami to 1895. So these records are nothing to sniff at, especially when you consider that they beat previous annual temperature records set in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
AND THE HEAT GOES ON: Sanford tied a daily record high on Friday with 85, matching the mark set in 1991. Another day of near-record highs were in the forecast for Saturday: Daytona Beach’s record high for January 2 is 82, set in 2006; Saturday’s forecast high is 84.
Record warm lows were set or tied Friday in Jacksonville (66); Daytona Beach (67); Melbourne (71); and Vero Beach (70).
The stalled cold front that’s been soaking North Florida and the panhandle — Apalachicola picked up 1.29 inches of rain Friday and the Tallahassee area was under a Flash Flood Watch — is forecast to get kicked down the Florida peninsula on Sunday night. The National Weather Service said it would lose much of its convective punch as it moves south, but much cooler temperatures are expected to take hold early next week.
So far, we aren’t looking at the kind of cold temps we saw on Christmas weekend, but they’ll feel chilly after highs in the 80s and balmy overnight lows in the upper 60s and 70s.
In South Florida, lows in coastal areas should be in the 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday, with lows in the 40s in the interior.
A warming trend brings temps to more seasonal levels by the end of the week.