On the backs of the coldest consecutive nights since February 12th and 13th of 2012, we’re due for low 70s Tuesday and near 80 by the weekend. How is this quick turnaround possible?
The answer lies in part, of course, with the sun: we will see a lot of it over the next few days.
A bigger difference, however, lies in the air mass that’s moving into our area.
This weekend, we saw a large area of high pressure move into North-Central Florida. On Friday and Saturday, we were on the eastern side of the strong high, and aided by a jet stream tilted to the southeast, cold air was piped our way straight from Canada. This cold, dry air mass, called a continental polar (cP) for its location of origin, created the frigid temperatures and gusty winds.
As the high continued moving east, it first acted to lock in the cold air it had piped in Saturday, leaving us with an even colder night Sunday. The wind was absent, though, making the 25 degree low feel noticeably milder than the 26 Saturday. Despite the absence of wind, the air felt so cold in part because of the lack of moisture in the air – the dewpoint – the measure of water vapor in the air – dropped to the single digits for a time on Sunday, an impressive statistic in an area that usually sees dew points in the 40-70 region.
But as the high moves over the Atlantic and the jet stream raises northward over the next couple days, a changing pattern, and air mass, emerges. Strong lower-and-mid level winds will flow off the Atlantic on Monday, pumping in considerable moisture after our unusually dry Sunday.
Add some sunshine to the humid, maritime tropical (mT) air mass, and we could be in for a quick warmup over the next couple days. With the flow aloft out of the southwest, the winds will gradually shift to the due south on Tuesday, marking a 180-degree turn from Saturday. Warm, humid air will then be advected, or pushed in, off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
A mini-cold front Wednesday morning will do little to alter the overall pattern, and by the weekend, we will see highs pushing 80 with a mix of clouds and sun. Chances for rain will be present nearly every day in the latter half of our 10-day.