The Storm Prediction Center has pulled South Florida out of the “Marginal” risk for severe weather on Tuesday, but Central Florida remains under the gun. Thunderstorms and small hail are possible, forecasters said. (Image credit: NOAA/ SPC)
Happy April 1st. March was warm and dry across the Florida peninsula and the Keys — and that’s no foolin’!
Miami’s average high was 81.3 degrees with an average low of 66.2 — an overall 1.1 degrees above the March 30-year average. At the same time, Miami had a March precipitation shortfall of 1.09 inches.
Interesting to note that it was the sixth warmer-than-average month out of the last seven in Miami, and the only reason it wasn’t eight straight is that January had slightly below average temperatures.
Orlando had a bone-dry March with just 0.56 of an inch of rain. That was 3.21 inches below average. Temperatures in the city were 1.3 degrees above normal with an average high of 78.8 and an average low of 57.7.
Tampa racked up 1.87 inches of rain but that was still 1.16 inches short. The average high was 77.9 and the average low was 60.3, which was 1.8 degrees above average.
In North Florida, Jacksonville had 2.04 inches — about half of normal March precip — while temps were 0.7 of a degree warmer than normal, with an average high of 73.9 and an average low of 51.
Following the warm and dry pattern across the state, Gainesville ended the month an impressive 3.8 degrees above the 30-year average, and the city was almost two-and-a-half inches shy of normal rainfall. The average high was 78.7 with an average low of 53.6.
Key West was 2.9 degrees above the March average and was short on rainfall by a quarter of an inch. Marathon finished the month 3.7 degrees on the plus side with a precipitation deficit of 1.49 inches.
Tallahassee was short almost 3 inches in March rainfall and had slightly above normal temperatures.
(Image credits: NOAA/ CPC)
APRIL OUTLOOK: April temps climb steadily in Florida, from a normal high of 82 in Miami on April 1 to 85 on April 30. Lows go from 74 to 78. In Orlando, normals rise from 80 to 85 and lows jump from 58 to 63. In Tampa, highs warm from 78 on April 1 to 84 on April 30, while lows rise from 61 to 66. Temperatures of 90 or better are common around the peninsula in April — the month’s record high in Tampa is 96, set two years ago on April 29.
The new April forecast, released Sunday by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, calls for high chances of above normal temperatures across the entire state along with above normal precipitation. Precipitation usually edges up around Central and South Florida as we head toward the end of the dry season on May 15.
TROPICS: Tropical storms can form in April in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The most recent Atlantic tropical storm was Arlene, which initiated a very busy and costly season on April 19, 2017. Tropical Storm Ana formed on April 20, 2003. An unnamed tropical depression formed on April 14, 1912; and a subtropical storm formed on April 21, 1992. The first tropical depression of the 1973 season formed on April 18.
Colorado State University releases its first hurricane season forecast on Thursday.