S. Florida heat streak ties overnight records
A two-week streak of abnormally warm temperatures is challenging South Florida records and pushing heat indexes to “concerning” levels into the weekend.
On Thursday, official weather service gauges in West Palm Beach cooled to only 82 degrees, breaking the 1991/1995 record of 81.
Official weather service gauges in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale cooled Wednesday morning to only 81 and 82 degrees, respectively, tying overnight heat records set in both cities in 1998.
Blame a stubborn Bermuda high, which has had a hold on the state through much of the month, for the unusual warmth. Fifteen days have seen the mercury rise to 90 degrees or warmer at Palm Beach International Airport, including hitting a whopping 93 degrees Sept. 19 and 20.
The normal daytime high for late September is 87 or 88 with the normal overnight low typically dropping to 75.
Derrick Weitlich, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne, said the extra daytime heat has been aided by an easterly sea breeze pushing farther inland and causing showers and thunderstorms to bypass the coast.
“The storms increase cloud cover and rainfall to really cool things off, but we’ve been drier than normal for most of the month and had higher temperatures,” Weitlich said.
An average of 4.6 inches of rain has fallen over coastal Palm Beach County this month, which is more than 2 inches below normal, according to South Florida Water Management District records.
Miami meteorologists warned Thursday of heat index, or “feels like,” temperatures in the triple digits into the weekend.
Through Monday, daytime highs in West Palm Beach are expected to reach near 90 degrees with overnights dipping into the upper 70s.
This weekend, the Bermuda high will move farther west with its center over the peninsula. Its clockwise flow is forecast to whip winds up to 15 mph, with stronger gusts. By Monday, east winds could increase to 16 mph with stronger gusts.
That means higher chances of rough seas and rip currents through the weekend.
On Tuesday, a stronger high pressure system moves across the northern part of the United States, which could push a “back-door” cold front “possibly through South Florida,” Miami meteorologists said.
Although uncertainty in the forecast remains high, meteorologists said models have been hinting at the front with enough consistency they felt confident putting it in the forecast.
Weitlich said a back-door front is one that comes from the northeast. He’s skeptical one would make it to South Florida this early in the season.
“In terms of temperatures, we certainly won’t see much of a change,” he said.