I thought weather watchers would be interested in the historical perspective of the “Great Florida Cold Weekend of January 2010” now that it appears its just about over. NOAA/NWS issued an in-depth report as of today. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/mfl/n...ricJan2010.pdf
Here are the highlights:
As someone who has been in and out of Florida in the winter season for 40 + years…. I can tell you this past weekend the weather made history. Temperatures over the weekend and early Monday morning plunged to levels not seen in at least 82 years at a few locations in south Florida. Temperatures at many official NWS stations remained at or below 50 F for more than 48 consecutive hours. According to NWS Miami…although no records are kept of consecutive number of hours at or below 50 F...it is likely that this streak is among the longest on record. Keep in mind that in the dead of winter (Jan-Feb) highs across south Florida are normally in mid/upper 70’s ….while the lows are around 56 -58 F. It has been an amazing 48 hours in South Florida!
Sunday January 10th
This was the coldest day in virtually all of south Florida since December 24, 1989 (21 years). Low temperatures ranged from 27 to 32 F in portions of inland South Florida… while lows ranged between 33-36 F over most of metropolitan Collier (Naples), Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. According to NWS Miami…unofficial readings of 32 degrees right to the beaches would be the first time these areas have seen freezing temperatures since December 25, 1989.
Many of the younger people (under 25) who live in the coastal cities of south Florida have never experienced a 32 F temp.
Monday January 11th
This morning was another record breaker in South Florida: Naples fell to 32 F…Miami to fell to 35 F (breaking the record for the data set in 1927), and West Palm Beach had a low of 34 F (breaking the record for the date set in 1927). It appears that right near the East Coast beaches the lows fell into the mid 30’s this morning. In addition to new daily records being set, records for longest number of consecutive days with lows at or below 45 F…have been set in West Palm Beach and Naples (10 days each).
LOWS: The temperature this morning (January 11th) fell to 42 F at Key West, FL. Only two lower temps have ever been recorded in Key West …both of which are all time record lows of 41 F on January 13 th 1981 and January 12 1886.
Temperature records in Key West date back to 1873. Key West now has had five consecutive days with low temperatures below 50 F (January 7th – 11th). A record not seen since the 1880’s.
In the coming days the pattern will finally moderate… and south Florida should see highs back into the upper 70’s with lows back near 50 - 55F. Central and northern Florida will see highs back near 60 F and lows in the mid 40‘s. From what I have read…it appears the citrus damage is modest. Nevertheless…the last four days were some of the most extreme cold in Florida in memory. A few records for the date that were 82 years old were broken.
With the low of 42 F in Key West and 35 F in Miami…I was curious what some of the “all time “record lows were like in other tropical areas of the world. Here is a list I found in a book called “Extreme Weather (Burt – 2004):
Honolulu – 49 F
Kahului – 48 F
Lihue – 46 F
Hong Kong – 32 F
Laos – 28 F
Burma – 31 F
Philippines - 34 F
Honduras – 41 F
Indonesia – 48 F
Cambodia – 49 F
Belize – 52 F
Singapore - 66 F.