February 2015 (to date) has been pacing well below what is considered normal on the thermometer in Gainesville. And we all know we’re not alone. Much of the eastern third of the nation has been in the deep freeze for weeks, with record-shattering snow falling in New England and multiple ice or snow events hitting unusually far to the South. Spring-breakers, especially University of Florida students who yearn for some beach time next week, are likely (and rightfully so) nervous about the forecast. Well, fear no more! We’re tracking a HUGE change in the weather pattern that should arrive just in time for you to start on that summer tan.
The winds of change will begin their big shift Sunday, but not before a couple of painfully cool and damp days. A strong cold front will be arriving Wednesday night with widespread shower activity and even a few thunderstorms. This same front will stall across central Florida Friday, then begin moving northward as a warm front over the weekend. North Florida will be sitting on the north (or cool) side of the front through Saturday, so temperatures will stay below normal and there could even be some rain ahead of it’s approach Saturday. Once it passes, however, a rapid warm-up will ensue and Sunday’s highs are likely to be much warmer than Saturday’s.
Starting Monday, and for the first time in four months, Gainesville’s temperature could top 80° THREE days in a row! The last time this occurred was October 26-29, 2014, according to the data observed at the Gainesville Regional Airport. Forecast data strongly suggests highs will be in the lower 80’s Monday through Wednesday, with the only potential hindrance to achieving those numbers being afternoon cloud cover. A strong flow out of the south will likely bring in a significant amount of moisture, which could lead to afternoon clouds and even a few showers starting Tuesday afternoon. Even if we don’t hit 80 all three days, the three-day period will be noted by many as being one of the nicer stretches of weather we’ve had in recent months.
March, however, is notorious for plenty of ups and downs on the thermometer, and our next cold front is projected to move through late Wednesday or early Thursday. It will likely be accompanied by higher rain chances and cooler temperatures to end the week. At this time, though, long range forecast models (for a change) do not indicate below normal temperatures in its wake. Rather, a return to what is typical for early March is more likely. And in North Florida, that equates to highs in the lower 70’s and overnight lows near 50.
Our 10-Day Outlook (as issued Wednesday morning)…
For those of you who have even warmer destinations in mind for your spring break plans, we are working on those 10-Day Outlooks for select cities as you read this. Look for a new update on this site before you start packing your bags by Thursday.