HURRICANE HISTORY: Hurricane Isbell slammed South Florida 54 years ago on Sunday, producing winds of up to 90 mph. Tornadoes caused damage on the southeast coast and in Collier County. There was “significant agricultural damage,” the National Weather Service says. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)
TALKING COLD FRONTS: Will Floridians soon be buzzing about open-window weather?
Two frontal boundaries may approach the state toward the end of the week and again near the end of next weekend, the National Weather Service says.
Here’s what forecasters had to say in their Monday morning discussion from Miami: “The latest guidance continues to diverge with the timing of the cold front and how far south it actually gets before dissipating. Behind the first front, another cold front tries to move into the region later in the weekend and into early next week.
“Confidence is still not high enough to forecast a cool down for South Florida as the latest guidance is still in disagreement on whether or not these fronts will make it this far south. This will continued to be monitored as the week progresses.”
The National Weather Service only projects temperatures seven days out. But AccuWeather, where longer-term forecasts are available, isn’t especially gung-ho about an imminent cool-down for South Florida. The commercial forecasting organization predicts highs in the mid-80s next week and lows in the low-70s, with a more dramatic cool-down the following weekend. The forecast low in Miami on Saturday, October 27 is 64.
In Orlando, though, forecast lows are in the 60s next week and the AccuWeather low for Saturday, October 27 is 55.
TALKING TIME: As we approach November, the big question is: Will Florida remain on Daylight Saving Time, or will it revert to Standard Time with the rest of the country? It’s a question with major implications for the upcoming winter season.
Taking Orlando as an example, sunrise on Saturday November 3 — one day before the time change is supposed to occur — is at 7:39 a.m. That’s a pretty murky start to the day. On Sunday, November 4, sunrise would be at 6:40 a.m. due to the time change.
Now let’s say Florida stays on Daylight Saving Time. Not only would sunrise be at 7:40 a.m. on that Sunday, but as we get toward the shortest days of the year, sunrise in Orlando would be at 8:14 a.m. on December 21. Sunset would be at 6:34 p.m.
If you live in Tallahassee, you wouldn’t see the sun peek over the horizon until 8:30.
Is this what’s going to happen? It doesn’t look like it, but it’s apparently still possible.
The State Legislature approved year-round Daylight Saving Time for the state in March and the bill was promptly signed by Governor Rick Scott. However, the change still must be approved in Congress and several bills toward that goal have languished, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has introduced two bills, one to make DST permanent in Florida and another to make it permanent nationwide, according to the paper. The bills are currently in the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
The Florida bill, called The Sunshine Protection Act (apparently even sunshine requires the protection of state lawmakers), was so popular that it breezed through the legislature, but it’s hard to see why. It’s already tough enough for people to get going in the morning without having to do it in the dark, not to mention shipping kids off to school when it’s still pitch-black outside.
In schools with early starting times, kids would be sitting in class a half-hour before the sun even comes up. All this so tourists would have an extra hour to play golf.
If Florida goes it alone, imagine having to do business on the West Coast — which would be four hours behind. If you’re doing business in California, you wouldn’t be able to start making phone calls until 1 p.m. As the Sentinel notes, sporting events would be so out of sync for West Coast games, viewership would probably drop off to nothing in Florida.
Fortunately, Congress races ahead these days with all the speed of a sea turtle. Right now it looks like we’ll still be in the “fall back” position when November 4 rolls around.