Florida’s ‘record shattering day’ sees temps hit 90; more heat expected

ECFL records

(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

There were more record warm temperatures around Florida on Monday than you can shake a palm frond at. In fact, almost every major city on the state’s East Coast, from Key West up to Jacksonville, posted either a record high temperature or a record warm minimum — or both.

The unprecedented heat extended to interior cities like Orlando and Gainesville, too.

In some cases the temperatures were the warmest ever recorded in February.

A few low 90s appeared in South Florida, including Immokalee in Collier County, which hit 90. Brighton, on the west side of Lake Okeechobee, had the nation’s high Monday with 91.

In all, 22 temperature records were set or tied around the peninsula. A cold front moved into the state Tuesday, bringing some slightly cooler air to North Florida, but Central and South Florida are forecast to continue their near-record or record-setting ways over the next couple of days.

The front is forecast to move back to the north Wednesday as a warm front, and the extended forecast through early next week doesn’t show any break in the heat. Even the West Coast may see some record busting temperatures, forecasters said.

Here’s the record roundup:

  • Gainesville reached 89, shattering the previous record high of 85 set in 1962. It was also the warmest temperature ever recorded in February, beating the old mark of 88 set on February 26, 1971. Gainesville also set a record warm minimum temperature with 67, beating the old mark of 66 set in 1975.
  • The high in Jacksonville was 86, busting a 63-year-old record high of 85 set in 1956.
  • Vero Beach made it to 89, breaking a record set in 2008 of 88. The 89 degree reading tied the warmest temperature ever recorded for the month of February. Vero Beach also set a new record warm minimum with 72, shattering the old record of 69 set in 2008.
  • Fort Pierce matched Vero Beach with 89, 2 degrees warmer than the old record of 87 set in 2008. The low was 72, beating the old record warm minimum of 70 set in 2008.
  • Down the coast, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach all set new record warm lows Monday with 75, 76 and 75, respectively. Miami’s previous record warm low, 73, had been on the books since 1961.
  • Naples‘ low was 73, beating the previous record warm minimum of 71 set in 1995.
  • In the Keys, Marathon’s high of 88 beat the old record of 87 set in 2008, and tied the record for warmest February temperature. the low, an incredible 79 degrees, broke the record for the date, 76 — set just a year ago. It tied the record for the month of February — which was set just a week ago on February 12!
  • Key West tied a record high with 84 and set a record warm low with 77.

Keys temp records

(Image credit: NWS-Key West)

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Temperature records set, tied or challenged around the state

Monday forecast SFL

HAVE A NICE WHATEVER: Here’s the forecast for Presidents’ Day … or, as the National Weather Service calls it every year, Washington’s Birthday. Well, it turns out that the day actually is officially called Washington’s Birthday by the federal government, according to the website infoplease.com. “Many Americans believe that this holiday is now called ‘Presidents’ Day,’ in honor of both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays are Feb. 22 and Feb. 12, respectively,” the site notes. The celebration of Washington’s birthday goes back to the days when Washington was still in office, although it wasn’t named a holiday officially until 1885. Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act in 1968, which made Washington’s Birthday the third Monday of February. “Some reformers had wanted to change the name of the holiday as well, to Presidents’ Day, in honor of both Lincoln and Washington, but that proposal was rejected by Congress.” (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

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Several high temperature records were set or tied around the Florida peninsula Sunday, while other areas came within a few degrees of tying records.

The high in Gainesville was 86, which beat the old record high of 85 set 91 years ago in 1928.

It was 86 in Sanford, which tied the record high set in 1949, and in the Keys Marathon hit 87, which busted the previous record of 84 set last in 2008.

This is the sixth warm temperature record set or tied this month in Marathon, although it needs to be noted that temperature records in Marathon only go back to 1950.

The high in Orlando was 85, which was 3 degrees off the record high of 88 set in 1944.

It was 85 in Naples, 2 degrees off the record high of 87 set in 1975.

Florida had the nation’s high again Sunday with 88 at Immokalee, Plant City and Winter Haven. The low was 30 below at 30 at Escourt Station, Maine, which is at the northern most point in the state on the Canadian border.

A look at February’s toasty temps; and a historic Valentine’s Day chill

Coldest Florida temps

MOTHER OF ALL ARCTIC OUTBREAKS: Florida has been warm this month, but a cold snap packed a true winter wallop over a century ago during the “Great Arctic Outbreak” of 1899, which occurred on Valentine’s Day. Temperatures plummeted below freezing over the most of the peninsula, with snow as far south as Central Florida. Tallahassee hit an incredible 2 degrees below zero — the coldest temperature ever recorded in Florida. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

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Florida is apparently headed into one of the warmest weeks of the winter after a first half of February that was already significantly above average from Tallahassee to Key West.

While January ended blustery and cool, it looks like February may go into the record books as unusually warm. NOAA will issue its spring forecast next Thursday.

Interior areas of South and Central Florida are forecast to warm into the mid-80s next week as high pressure over the peninsula keeps cold front to the north. Monday’s holiday forecast high in Immokalee, for example, is 87. Orlando’s forecast high on Wednesday is 85.

For the first half of February (through Thursday), temperatures in Florida were running as much as 8.6 degrees above normal. That was the temperature anomaly in Gainesville, which posted two record highs during the first half of the month, a pair of 86-degree readings.

Here are February first-half anomalies for the rest of the state:

Brooksville, plus-7.5 degrees; Tallahassee, plus-7.0; Sarasota, plus-6.6; Jacksonville, plus-6.5; Tampa, plus-6; Naples, plus-5.6; Fort Myers, plus-5.2; Orlando, Melbourne and Daytona Beach, plus 5.1; Key West, plus-4.6; West Palm Beach, plus-4.2; Miami, plus-3.0 and Fort Lauderdale, plus 2.8.

Marathon checked in with a first-half temperature anomaly of plus-6 degrees with four high temperature records. Marathon has had only one day this month in which it failed to reach at least 80 degrees, and that was February 4, when the high was 79.

Temperatures throughout the state are forecast to be well above normal for the remaining two weeks of February. Meteorological spring begins March 1 and astronomical spring begins March 20.

 

Forecast temperature anomalies through February 28. (Image credits: NOAA/ CPC)

Florida Keys hammered with heavy rain, weekend warm-up in sight

IT’S FINALLY OFFICIAL: A weak El Niño formed last month in the Pacific, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday. The above average water temperatures that indicate an El Niño tend to have an impact on the winter in North America, and the phenomenon generally leads to stormy weather during Florida’s winter.

That may not be the case this year.

El Niño conditions can also suppress tropical storm development in the Atlantic, but forecasters said chances of El Niño lasting beyond spring was 50 percent or less.

“Due to the expected weak strength, widespread or significant global impacts are not anticipated,” the CPC said in its first El Niño Advisory. “However, the impacts often associated with El Niño may occur in some locations during the next few
months.”

NOAA’s spring outlook — March through May — will be updated next Thursday February 21.

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FL Keys rainfall

(Image credit: NWS-Key West)

More than 2 inches of rain pounded parts of South Florida and the Keys on Wednesday, and with some cool temperatures to boot, there weren’t many selfie moments for the tourist crowd.

A lot of Florida cities didn’t make it to 70 degrees, especially on the West Coast, where Tampa topped out at 64 and Punta Gorda made it to 68. The best Brooksville could do was 62 degrees.

Gainesville was 65 — 21 degrees colder than Tuesday’s record high of 86 degrees. The city had 0.16 of an inch of rain.

The Keys were an exception. The high in Marathon was 80, giving Florida the nation’s high temperature for the sixth day in a row. Not only that, but Marathon reported the heaviest rain in the state — 2.45 inches, a record for the date. That obliterated the previous record for the date of 0.80 inches in 1983.

The high was 78 in Key West, where 0.84 of an inch of rain fell.

Marathon also picked up the most rain in the state — 2.45 inches.

Officially, Fort Lauderdale measured 1.27 inches of rain on Wednesday and Homestead reported an unofficial 1.89 inches. Miami checked in with 0.76 of an inch, Naples 0.71 and West Palm Beach, 0.40.

In Central Florida, Orlando received 0.68 of an inch; Melbourne 1.29 inches; Vero Beach, 0.89 and Fort Pierce, 0.58.

West Coast: Tampa, 0.32; Lakeland, 0.48; Sarasota, 0.11; and Fort Myers, 1.16.

Now comes the big late winter warm-up, with temperatures hitting 80 around most of the state on Friday and the mid-80s by early next week, according to the National Weather Service.

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DROUGHT CONDITIONS UNCHANGED: The U.S. Drought Monitor continued to designate coastal South Florida and East-Central Florida as Abnormally Dry with a slice of Moderate Drought (D1) running from Brevard County south into Martin County.

Dryness and drought only exist in southeastern Florida. Several tenths of an inch fell on northern sections of the dry area, and little or none fell on central and southern portions,” NOAA’s Richard Tinker wrote on Thursday. “No substantial changes in conditions and impacts were noted, so the Drought Monitor depiction remained the same as last week.”

Note, however, that although the drought report is released on Thursday, it only covers conditions through Tuesday.

Melbourne posts record high with 88, warmest in nation; temps to rebound after cold front

CFL rainfall

RAINFALL REPORT: More than 3 inches of rain was reported in Central Florida Wednesday as a cold front rolled across the Florida peninsula. The 3-plus inch total was reported in Brevard County while the National Weather Service in Melbourne reported an official 2.22 inches. Across the state, Sanibel Island reported 1.84 inches, according to CoCoRaHS. (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

Florida temperatures are on a roller coaster ride this week, dipping down into the upper 40s in Central Florida by Thursday morning only to rebound back into the 80s by the weekend.

The quick cold snap was preceded by record heat on Tuesday as Melbourne posted a high of 88, smashing the old record for the date of 85 set just one year ago. That was also the high for the nation — the fifth day in a row that a Florida city had the nation’s high.

Jacksonville set a record high with 84, beating the old record of 83 set in 1965; and Gainesville had a high of 86, beating the old record of 84 set in 1950. It was the second time in the past five days that Gainesville reached 86, a temperature the city doesn’t see on average until March 26.

Down the coast, Fort Pierce tied a record high with 87, matching the mark set in 1994.

In the Keys, Marathon tied a record high with 86. The record was previously set in 1986.

Two record warm minimum temperatures were posted around the state as well:

  • Fort Lauderdale’s low on Tuesday was 74, which beat the old record warm minimum of 73 set on February 12 a year ago.
  • Tuesday’s low in Key West was a balmy 77 degrees, tying the record warm low set a year ago.
  • Orlando and Daytona Beach each missed tying record lows by 1 degree.

After the Wednesday-Thursday cool-down, temperatures should be back near 80 by Friday, and another cold front that approaches the state later in the weekend is expected to be deflected by high pressure over the peninsula.

Of course it’s still winter — meteorological spring starts March 1 and astronomical spring begins on Wednesday, March 20 — but the second half of February can bring some summer-type temperatures around Florida.

Thursday is the earliest 90-degree temperature recorded in Fort Lauderdale (February 14, 1948); in Miami it’s March 2, 2003 and in West Palm Beach it’s February 10 (1949). The first 90-degree day occurred in Naples on March 8, 1974.

In Orlando the first 90 degree high occurred on February 15, 1935; February 24 in Melbourne (92 degrees, set in 1962). Tampa’s first 90-degree day didn’t occur until March 16, 1945.

Record temps on Florida’s East Coast; talking may drive you buggy, researchers say

WCFL highs

TOASTY TEMPS TO START THE WEEK: Interior areas of West-Central Florida should see highs in the mid-80s on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. (Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

Record warm nighttime temperatures are popping up once again on Florida’s East Coast.

Sunday’s low at Marathon in the Keys was only 76 degrees, which tied a record warm minimum for February 10 — which was set just a year ago.

A record warm minimum temperature was also recorded at Vero Beach — 68 degrees, tying a mark set 37 year ago in 1982. Orlando tied a record warm minimum with 65, matching a mark set in 1990; and Sanford also bottomed out at 65, tying a record warm temperature record set in 1982.

RAINFALL REPORT: North-Central Florida and Northeast Florida were slammed with another round of rain Sunday, with some areas picking up around a half- to three-quarters of an inch.

Melbourne reported record rainfall with 0.76 of an inch. That was good enough to beat the previous record for February 10 of 0.61 of an inch, set in back in 1983.

February is typically one of the driest months of the year in Florida — it’s the absolute driest in South Florida — but a series of stalled cold fronts have been making this February an exception. The timing is good, since the East Coast and some interior areas had been building toward serious drought conditions since last fall.

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SPRING SNEAK PEEK: The Old Farmer’s Almanac expects a wet spring in Florida. “While heading to the beach in April may sound like a good idea, the God of Thunder may have other plans,” The Almanac says in its forecast.

NOAA’s spring forecast will be issued a week from Thursday on February 21. It’ll include separate forecasts for March and one for March, April and May.

For now, NOAA is sticking with its prediction that Florida will be cooler and wetter than average the last week of February and the first week of March.

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WHAT’S THE BUZZ? If you’re sitting outside on your patio without a screened enclosure you may want to keep the noise down — and not just to appease your neighbors. It turns out mosquitoes can hear humans from 32 feet away, researchers have discovered.

A conversation in Florida may be akin to ringing a dinner bell, although there’s no definitive proof that human voices cause the pesky bugs to home in on people, according to the study by Cornell University and Binghamton University.

“The insects are known to pick up sensory cues such as carbon dioxide, odors and warmth to locate people,” Cornell says in a news release. “But the results do show an intriguing correlation ….”

Windy weather on the way after North Florida posts record highs

Gale Watch

(Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)

Jacksonville smashed a 62-year-old record high Friday with 85 degrees, beating the previous mark of 84 set in 1957. It was 86 in Gainesville, which beat the old record of 85 also set in 1957.

The average first date for an 85-degree high in Jacksonville is March 16, according to the National Weather Service, and the average first date for a high of 86 in Gainesville is March 26.

Temperatures were set to tumble in North Florida Saturday as a cold front rolled through from the northwest, a system that’s expected to stall out in Central Florida and bring strong winds to the entire peninsula.

A Wind Advisory was issued for Northeastern Florida for gusts of up to 35 mph and a Gale Watch was posted for Atlantic coastal waters south to Palm Coast. Wind gusts near 40 mph were forecast for off-shore areas.

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MEANWHILE IN THE PACIFIC: Hawaii is bracing for a hit from an intense low pressure system in the Pacific that could trigger wind gusts of up to 60 mph over the weekend. A High Wind Watch was in effect and the National Weather Service told residents to expect power outages and hazardous driving conditions.

“This is the strongest forecast kona low that I have witnessed near Hawaii in my 25-plus years living on Oahu,” Steven Businger, an expert on kona storms and chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, told Weather Underground on Friday.

Writing on Weather Underground’s Category 6 blog, Bob Henson said there was a “marginal potential” for the low to develop into a subtropical storm, which is supported by several forecast models. The first name on the storm list for the Central Pacific is Akoni.

“In the unlikely event that Akoni does manage to form, its formation location near would be unprecedented in the historical record,” Henson said. “According to statistics compiled by NOAA, since the satellite era began in the 1970s, only two named storms have formed in the Central Pacific in January or February: Category 3 Hurricane Ekeka of 1992 and Category 2 Hurricane Pali of 2016.”

But they both formed more than 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.