(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.