Now that we’re only a few days out, it’s time to talk details of this weekend’s cold snap. We alerted Floridians nearly a week ago to the possibility of a really cold start to March. We are very confident that Spring Break plans involving the beach or pool anywhere in the state this weekend are a bad idea. It will be cold. Very cold. Especially by Florida standards in March. What isn’t as clear is whether or not this cold will be accompanied by any precipitation or not.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Daytime highs Saturday through Monday will only be in the 50s north of I-4 to the middle 60s in South Florida.
- Overnight lows will be mostly in the 30s for inland areas statewide, 40s near the coasts.
- Precipitation in the form of rain is possible for areas south of I-4 Saturday or Saturday night.
- A freeze is likely Sunday night north of I-4 (possibly a hard freeze for inland areas)
THE SET UP
The storm system that swept across the state Tuesday with damaging winds and even a few tornadoes stalled over the northern Atlantic due to a blocking ridge of high pressure near Greenland. This block will force Canadian air around it, which means it will be more likely to move south rather than east, carving out a very deep trough of lower pressure over much of the Eastern U.S. This trough will send temperatures well below normal for much of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern part of the country. Included in this air mass will be Florida – the ENTIRE state. In addition to the cold air, we are also watching closely for the possibility that some precipitation may develop due to a disturbance riding the jet stream (winds aloft) into the Gulf of Mexico. Forecast confidence on the strength of this disturbance and its ability to produce precipitation in North-Central Florida is very low. Conditions may be too dry, both at the surface and aloft, for rain or anything frozen to fall. At the very least, a few flurries may be possible along the Atlantic Coast on Sunday morning. I explain more and have an exclusive look at the forecast models in the video posted below. Stay with WRUF for continuing updates on the weekend forecast and prepare for freezing temperatures Sunday night.