– More than ten records could be broken
– Freeze Warnings in effect for nearly half the state
– The cold will continue through Friday morning
More than four million Floridians are likely to experience a rare late-season freeze tonight. Roughly half the state is under some type of freeze warning, and numerous cold weather records are likely to be broken. Gainesville, for example, is likely to shatter the old March 16th record of 32, set in 1999, with a forecast minimum of 27.
Local Numbers and Records
The numbers below were tabulated from all available data at each location via the National Weather Service. Cities listed in blue (after you expand the sections) could break a record low for March 16.
|West Palm Beach||43||1988||52|
Why So Cold, So Late
This cold snap follows a winter that was the warmest in decades for most of the state. The counter-clockwise flow of wind around the blizzard in New England this week has caused the jet stream to buckle. The jet stream is the river of air aloft that steers air masses across the nation. This direct connection with Canada has been missing most of the winter, which is why it was so warm over the past three months.
The center of this week’s cold air mass, often marked by a strong area of high pressure, will slide directly over Florida Thursday. Below normal temperatures are expected for a second straight day, and frost is possible across northern sections of the state Friday morning. Temperatures will begin warming back up over the weekend as winds shift to a more southerly direction.