As residents of the Northeast run for higher ground and prepare for possible power outages from Hurricane Sandy, Floridians will be scurrying to find their winter coats and gloves. A blast of cold air straight from the arctic will be allowed to penetrate deep into the Southeast, possibly breaking record lows in many locations over the next couple of mornings. The coolest daytime highs on record are also in jeopardy, which is quite a feat considering those numbers are usually achieved when there is extensive cloud cover or precipitation.
Despite plenty of sunshine, Monday’s temperatures will struggle thanks to the continued movement of this colder air mass through the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and into North-Central Florida. The coolest daytime high ever recorded on October 29th was 64, set back in 2008. As it stands now, our forecast is for a high of 67. Monday night will be the coldest night of this early-season chill. Skies will be clear, pressures will be rising, and most-importantly the wind will be dying down – all conditions optimal for maximum cooling at night. Overnight lows will likely dive well into the middle and upper 30s, with some rural locations possibly even seeing some spotty frost. The record low for Tuesday morning in Gainesville is 34, set back in 1973.
The cooler air is diving into Florida on the heels of northwest winds, which are expected to continue through Tuesday. It will breeziest during the afternoon, when winds could gust to 20 mph at times. Even though the winds will relax some at night, a light breeze will make the actual temperature feel even colder, forcing us to talk about wind chills prematurely here in late October. Monday morning’s wind chills could flirt with the upper 30’s, and even during the afternoon they will be running a few degrees cooler than the actual temperature. Wind chills Monday night could even dip into the upper 20s at times, depending on when the winds calm down and how fast the temperature drops after sunset.
Cooler-than-normal temperatures will likely continue for much of the upcoming work week, thanks to a persistent flow out of the northwest in the wake of the stalling remnants of Hurricane Sandy. The air mass will modify some by week’s end, with daytime highs warming back into the 70s and overnight lows rebounding to the 40s and 50s. Little or no precipitation is expected over the next six days. A change in the weather pattern is possible early next week that could send warmer temperatures and more moisture in off the Gulf of Mexico, possibly bringing rain chances back up to 20 or 30 percent.