It will only last a day or two, but much of Florida will be shocked by an early winter chill that will have folks pulling out heavy coats by mid-week. The front responsible for this sudden change is forecast to arrive Tuesday in the panhandle, and then quickly sweep across the rest of the state Wednesday. Moisture gathering in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the front will be steered into central and south Florida, where most of the rain with this weather system will fall. A strong ridge of higher pressure will quickly build in behind the front, stirring up the winds to gale force in some areas, and leading to another round of adverse boating conditions on the Atlantic coast.
Coldest daytime temperatures Wednesday, coldest night Wednesday night
Best chances for significant rain in central and south Florida Wednesday
Gale force wind gusts (to 40mph) and seas 5 to 10 feet on Atlantic coast Wednesday and Thursday
COLDEST TEMPERATURES YET
The coldest air of the late fall season will arrive in north Florida Wednesday, sweeping across the rest of the state Wednesday night and Thursday. After a relatively warm day Tuesday (with highs near 80 in most inland areas), temperatures will fall late Tuesday night, and keep on falling through most of the day Wednesday north of the I-4 corridor. Afternoon readings in the 50s will be common, a full twenty degrees below values that are typical for this time of year. The coldest night time temperatures will occur Wednesday night in north Florida, and then Thursday night in central and south Florida. Lows Thursday morning in the 30s will be possible from the Suwannee River Valley and for much of the panhandle. The first 40-degree low temperatures of the season will be experienced across central Florida north of I-4 on Friday morning. A 50-degree chill could push as far south as inland areas of south Florida north of I-75.
This cold snap will be brief, though, as the upper-level winds will be quick to carry the polar air mass out to sea. A shift in the winds occurring Thursday and Friday will allow temperatures to return to the mid-November norms by the end of the week. In fact, some long range forecast data suggests above-normal temperatures could be back as early as Sunday, with many inland areas topping 80 degrees again!
RAIN MORE LIKELY IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH FLORIDA
An area of low pressure is likely to form on the aforementioned cold front as it presses southward mid-week. The big question mark is whether or not it form on the Gulf of Mexico side of the peninsula, or wait until the front moves further offshore on the Atlantic coast before maturing. The development of this low will be key to where the heaviest rain occurs as the front moves across Florida. Model data currently suggests that most of the rain will fall on the eastern side of Florida and mostly on Wednesday. Central and south Florida will have a much greater opportunity for an episode of heavier rain with the front if the low pressure strengthens some over the Gulf of Mexico before arriving. At the very least, most areas of the state south of a Cedar Key to Gainesville to Jacksonville line will likely see a few showers or drizzle in the wake of the front on Tuesday night or Wednesday.
GALE CONDITIONS ON ATLANTIC COAST
Winds frequently gusting to gale force will be common in the wake of the mid-week front on the Atlantic beaches, starting Wednesday along the First Coast and then spreading south toward the Treasure Coast by Thursday morning. A slew of wind and surf advisories are likely to be issued by the National Weather Service as the specifics of these conditions become more apparent in coming days. Boaters, swimmers and surfers are encouraged to stay tuned to local media or follow @FloridaStorms on Twitter for the very latest on the dangerous marine conditions expected mid-week.