Four Million Floridians Under a Freeze Warning Tonight

– 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.

WUWF Lows Tonight

City Record Year Forecast

Pensacola

32

1937 35

Niceville

29

1951

31

Crestview 29 1999

26

WFSU Lows Tonight

City Record Year Forecast
Tallahassee 24 1988 28
Perry 25 1988 27
Madison 30 1988 28

WJCT Lows

City Record Year Forecast
Jacksonville 30 1988 31
Crescent City 32 1916 33
Federal Pt. 35 1932 34
Live Oak 25 1988 26
Lake City 31 1924 25
Starke 32 1970 26

WUFT Lows Tonight

City Record Year Forecast
Gainesville 32 1999 27
High Springs 26 1993 25
Live Oak 25 1988 26
Ocala 28 1988 29

City Record Year Forecast
Tampa 37 1916 40
Inverness 30 1998 29
Bradenton 38 1999 41
Plant City 32 1932 34
St. Petersburg 39 1916 46
Venice 39 1916 40
Lakeland 37 1988 36

City Record Year Forecast
Daytona Beach 34 1988 38
Orlando 30 1932 36
Melbourne 39 1988 42
Vero Beach 35 1988 43
Deland 30 1988 34
Fort Pierce 34 1988 44
Sanford 38 1988 35

City Record Year Forecast
Fort Myers 43 1954 42
Naples 42 1988 46

City Record Year Forecast
Miami 44 1988 54
West Palm Beach 43 1988 52
Ft. Lauderdale 44 1954 54

City Record Year Forecast
Key West 53 1988 60
Islamorada 60 2010 55
Bahia Honda 63 2013 60

 

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.

Jet Stream

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.