All-time February temperature records tied or broken in Tampa, Melbourne

CFL hi temps Tuesday

Highs in southwest Florida are forecast to reach 90 on Tuesday. (Credit: NWS-TampaBay)

It was a scorching 88 degrees in Tampa on Monday — setting a new record for the date and tying a record for the warmest temperature ever recorded in February.

The old record high for February 19 was 86, set in 1997. The all-time February high of 88 was previously set on February 26, 1971.

Sarasota set record high with 87, breaking the previous mark of 86 set in 1990.

Across the state, Melbourne’s low of 73 smashed the previous record warm low for the date of 69 set in 1949. The low is also the warmest minimum temperature ever recorded during the month of February in Melbourne, according to the National Weather Service.

More record warmth was possible Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters said.

Tuesday morning’s run of the GFS model continues to suggest some cooler temperatures arriving in Florida during the first week of March, although the Climate Prediction Center is still calling for above normal temperatures in Florida through March 5.

Cold temperatures are not unheard of in March — Miami’s all-time March low is 32, for example; ditto in Fort Lauderdale. The all-time March low in West Palm Beach is 26; 33 in Naples. After the first week of the month, though, most record lows in South Florida are in the 40s.


Excessive rainfall outlook

The nation’s mid-section is in for some very heavy rain through Wednesday. (Credit: NOAA/ WPC)

FLOODING RAINS FORECAST: While high pressure maintains its grip on Florida, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is sweeping up into the Central U.S., bringing rains of up to 7 inches or more through the Mississippi Valley from Arkansas north to Illinois and Indiana, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.

A swath from northeastern Texas through Arkansas and up to St. Louis is under a Moderate Risk for very heavy rainfall, as well as northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana and southeastern Michigan.

The rain is expected to fall through Wednesday night.

In Florida, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for below normal precipitation through at least March 5. February is likely to end with rainfall deficits throughout the peninsula, with the possible exception of the Tampa area, which was hit with heavy rain at the start of the month.



Sea level rise accelerating, disturbing new study reveals


High tide flooding is already common in Miami Beach, above, and other barrier islands on Florida’s coasts. (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Sea level rise, triggered by melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica — and exacerbated by warming ocean water — is actually picking up steam as we close in on the third decade of the 21st century.

The end result by 2100 may be sea levels that are double previous projections that assumed a more constant rate.

A new study by the University of Colorado at Boulder looked at 25 years of satellite data and concluded that the pace of sea level rise is about 0.08 mm per year. But by 2100, it’s expected to be 10 mm per year, “or even more,” the university said in a news release.

“Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years,” said Steve Nerem, professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that’s not likely.”

The researchers now estimate that oceans will rise by more than 2 feet — 26 inches — by the end of the century, “enough to cause significant problems for coastal cities,” the university said.

Researchers from the University of South Florida, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Old Dominion University, and the National Center for Atmospheric Researcher also participated in the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Most people think of melting ice flowing into the oceans as the main culprit behind rising sea levels. But there’s also a second factor — as ocean water warms, it expands. Warmer water has contributed about half of the 7 cm global sea level rise over the past 25 years, according to Nerem.


Tampa forecast

THE HEAT GOES ON: Florida’s warm February heads into its third full week with no signs of letting up. (Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

RECORD WATCH: Three high temperature records were tied or broken around Florida on Sunday. Naples tied a record high for the date with 86, matching the mark set in 1984.

In the panhandle, Tallahassee, tied a record high with 83, matching the record set in 1956. Apalachicola set a new record with 78, smashing a 73-year-old record of 76 set back in 1945.

Tampa and Orlando running almost 10 degrees above normal for February

WFL forecast

(Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

Florida’s February weather has been food for table talk lately, with records falling almost every day. With the month at the half-way point, where exactly do we stand?

Comparing monthly average temperatures with climate history data from The Southeast Regional Climate Center at the University of North Carolina, if the trend continues it looks like some sites may have their warmest February on record. Or close to it.

Orlando and Tampa are the cities most above average so far this month, with each running almost 10 degrees above normal.

Here’s the breakdown:

SOUTH FLORIDA: Miami 6.6 degrees above normal with an average high of 82 and an average low of 70. West Palm Beach plus-7.2 80 and 69; Naples, plus-7.9, 83 64. Fort Lauderdale plus-3.9 79 and 70.

Key West plus-5.4, 80 and 72.

These are highs typical late March and lows typical of late April.

EAST-CENTRAL FLORIDA: Fort Pierce plus-7.0, 79 and 62; Vero Beach plus-7.0, 79 and 62; Orlando plus-9.8, 79 and 64; Daytona Beach plus-7.4, 75 and 58.

WEST COAST: Tampa plus-9.8, 81 and 63; Fort Myers plus-7.7, 84 and 63.

NORTH FLORIDA: Jacksonville plus-6.6; 72 and 51; Gainesville plus-6.2, 74 and 51.


TROPICS TALK: Tropical Cyclone Gita powered up into a monster Category 4 storm earlier this week and pounded the South Pacific island nation of Tonga with a direct hit, according to Weather Underground.

Gita slammed American Samoa on Friday and caused massive damage, and the island group was declared a disaster by President Trump.

The storm was losing its punch at mid-week, but its remnants were expected to hammer New Zealand with heavy rain on Monday.

Water temperatures off New Zealand are record warm, helped by the nation’s warmest month ever recorded in January, Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters said.

Another dozen Florida records challenged or broken; asteroid close shave

The number of warm temperature records posted around the Florida peninsula jumped again from Monday to Tuesday — from seven to 12.

And it looks like the streak will continue into the weekend and into next week.

National Weather Service forecasters in Tampa said: “More record-breaking temperatures possible into the weekend. How do you like it?”

Forecasters in Miami said: “Good news for those who prefer the warmer side of South Florida`s late winter season.”

Here’s the breakdown, from tip to top:

Key West: Monday’s low of 76 tied a record warm low most recently set in 2013; Miami: low of 75 broke the record of 74 set in 1959; Fort Lauderdale: low of 73 tied the record set in 1993; West Palm Beach: low of 74 tied the record set in 1959; Vero Beach: low of 71 tied a record set in 1959; Melbourne: 72-degree low broke a record of 70 set in 2008; Orlando: low of 69 broke the record of 68 set in 1994; Sanford: low of 72 broke the record of 68 set in 1994; and the low in Tampa of 72 broke the old record of 68 set in 1994.

A second record was set in Tampa for the warmest low ever recorded in February. That was previously 71 degrees set on February 10, 1949.

Naples set a new record high of 89, busting the old mark of 86 set in 1960.

The high in Fort Myers was 88, tying a record high set for the date in 2001.

WFL 5 day forecast

(Credit: NWS-TampaBay)


SPACE ROCK FLY-BY: Another asteroid will thread the needle between Earth and the moon on Thursday. Newly-discovered 2018 CD3 is expected to miss the Earth by 221,234 miles, with the closest approach 2:42 EST.

The asteroid was first discovered on February 10. It’s estimated to be 39.4 feet long and should fly by the planet at 7.66 km/ second.

It’s the 14th asteroid to fly in between the moon and the Earth this year — last year there were a total of 54

Record warmth crisscrosses peninsula; panhandle socked with foot of rain

SFL forecast

Record highs may be approached again Monday in South Florida. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

PM UPDATE: Naples scored another record high Monday as the temperature hit 87, beating the old record of 86 set in 1960. It was the fourth consecutive record high in Naples. Several sites in Collier County, including Immokalee, reached 90 degrees Monday.

ORIGINAL POST: Seven Florida cities tied or broke warm temperature records Sunday, while heavy rain pounded the Florida panhandle, triggering floods and washed-out roads.

Naples set another new record high on Sunday with 87, beating the old record of 85 set in 1999. It was the third daily record in a row and the fourth in the past week.

The low in West Palm Beach was 74, setting a new record warm low that had been on the books for 115 years — 73, set in 1903.

Melbourne’s low was 71, beating the previous record warm low of 68 set in 1994.

With a low of 69, Vero Beach set a new record warm low — the previous mark was 68, set in 1994.

Records were tied in Key West (low of 76, matching the mark set in 1994); and Miami (75, equaling the record warm low set in 1994).

And Sanford tied a record high with 87 degrees. That was also last set in 1994.

Panhandle flood warning

Areas west of Panama City were under a Flood Warning Sunday, but rain was expected to taper off in the panhandle on Monday. (Credit: NWS-Tallahassee)

In the Florida panhandle, meanwhile, Walton County was slammed with up to a foot of rain Sunday and Sunday night, leading to a long list of road closures, some of them washed out or badly damaged.

Panama City was socked with an official total of 6.3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The heavy rain hit areas west of Tallahassee that have been under Moderate to Severe Drought conditions. An updated analysis will be released Thursday, which should show some improvement.

Florida pollen counts are nothing to sneeze at as record warmth continues

February’s spring-like weather in Florida has one big downside: Pollen counts are soaring, causing people with allergies to start their seasonal ritual of sneezing and wheezing.

As of Sunday, Central Florida had the highest pollen counts in the country, with the worst cities identified as Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Tree pollens are the biggest culprit.

Allergy sufferers are also reaching for the medicine cabinet in Southern California, southern Arizona, and parts of Texas, although those pollen outbreaks are in the medium-high range, a little below Central Florida, according to

Not surprisingly, 72 percent of the country is in low-pollen status as winter weather in northern latitudes continues unabated.

WFL forecast

(Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

And speaking of weather patterns continuing unabated, warm temperature records were challenged or broken up and down the Florida peninsula on Saturday, with another round likely Sunday.

“The stretch of warm weather will continue with afternoon highs once again near record levels,” the National Weather Service in Tampa said Sunday morning. “Scattered afternoon showers and storms are expected across interior portions of the peninsula this afternoon.

“Is summer here already?”

It was 84 in Tampa on Saturday, tying a record high set 86 years ago in 1932.

On the East Coast, Miami busted a record warm minimum temperature with an incredible low of 74 degrees — beating the old mark of 73 set in 1994. Melbourne also scored a record warm low at 72, smashing the previous record of 67 set in 1986.

Ditto for Vero Beach, where the low of 70 bumped off the previous mark of 68 set in 1982. Fort Pierce tied a record with a low of 70, previously set in 1939.

It doesn’t look like the warm weather is going anywhere. Sunday’s run of the GFS forecast model shows cold fronts getting deflected north of Florida through February 27. NOAA comes out with its new March forecast on Thursday, and it’s likely to show more above-normal temperatures and dry weather for the state, although cold fronts can — and do — often put a chill on early spring weather in Florida.

A disturbance moving up from the Florida Straits Sunday was expected to trigger showers and thunderstorms through the southern part of the peninsula, but then high pressure was forecast to build back in, according to the National Weather Service.

Highs could jump into the upper 80s in parts of South Florida on Monday, forecasters said.

SFL forecast

The official South Florida forecast is for highs in the 80s to continue all week. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

Tampa and Naples notch record highs; islands may ask Washington for storm aid

Tampa beat a 79-year-old high temperature record Friday with 86, besting the old record of 85 set in 1939. Also on Friday, Naples set a record high of 86, beating the previous record for the date set on February 9, 1965.

Several record warm lows were set on Friday as well. As Naples set a record high, the city also set a record warm low with 68, beating the previous mark of 67 set in 2008.

Fort Pierce also set a new record warm low Friday with 70, besting the old mark of 69 set in 1939.

Unofficially, two observation stations in Collier County topped out at 88 degrees Friday.

Expect more record warm lows on Florida’s East Coast — and record highs on the West Coast — over the weekend, the National Weather Service in Miami said.

forecast highs SFL

Full sunscreen alert for visitors to the Orlando attractions, where highs in the mid-80s are forecast this weekend. (Image credits: Above, NWS-Miami; below: NWS-Melbourne)

CFL weekend highs

FUN FEB FACT: February 10 is the first day of the year in which the record high temperature at West Palm Beach has hit 90. That happened in 1949. In Miami, the first 90-degree record high doesn’t occur until March 2; In Fort Lauderdale it’s February 14; Naples, March 8.


TROPICS TALK: We’re more than three months away from the hurricane season in the continental U.S., but tropical weather is front and center in another part of the country — Hawaii and, to the southwest, American Samoa. The latter was smacked on Friday by Tropical Cyclone Gita, causing high winds, flooding and mudslides.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the port at Pago Pago, the capital of the island chain. The National Weather Service office there was closed, and forecasts were being issued from Honolulu, according to Radio New Zealand.

The storm damaged homes and caused power outages. American Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga declared an emergency and said it was likely he’d ask for assistance from the U.S. government in Washington.


KW radar upgrade

OFFLINE IN THE KEYS: The radar in Key West will be down next week for “a major upgrade,” the National Weather Service said. In the meantime, radar in Miami covers the Keys. (Credit: NWS-Key West)