Those in the panhandle were enjoying some warmer weather on Sunday, but not so much the severe weather today (at least one possible tornado). Tonight and the next few days are going to be much colder.
The cold front – which is passing through the Florida peninsula as I am typing this – will usher some of the coldest weather we have seen this season. And, no, it’s not a polar vortex! It’s a sizable dip in the trough that’s moving through the eastern U.S. This same feature that has brought snow and temperatures close to the single digits in some northern states.
Now, the passage of the front will continue to usher in the arctic blast through the area.
TONIGHT (MONDAY NIGHT)
Statistical and raw guidance are suggesting lows in the low to mid 30s tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. So far, the current temperature, dewpoint, and wind direction and speed are close to the statistical GFS run. The infrared satellite loop is showing some clearing west of Pensacola. If the clearing could make it here before midnight, this should allow some radiational cooling if it weren’t for one thing: The wind. Wind speeds should hang around 10 knots (~12 mph) tonight; therefore, the mixing will limit any radiational cooling and keep temps from plummeting too much. The wind along with the cold temps will make things feels much colder, though. I’ll call for a low tonight near 32.
TUESDAY NIGHT/WEDNESDAY MORNING
This should be the coldest night of the season so far. Most models are hinting of lows in the low to mid 20s. The statistical GFS is sippin’ on some syrup as it’s calling for a low of 18F. It seems too low, in my opinion. If the sky remains clear and the winds remain very low to calm, the temps could tank. I would keep an eye on the dewpoints through the day to give a hint of how low it could go. For now, I’m calling for a Wednesday morning low near 25.
There should be one more morning will below freezing temperatures (Thursday AM), but I would say that it should be about two to three degrees warmer than Wednesday morning. The high pressure cell is expected to move east of the area sometime Thursday, and temps will begin to moderate a bit. Lows Friday and Saturday mornings should be in the 40s and 50s, respectively.
Dress warm, protect your sensitive plants, and bring in your pets. Make sure your skin is covered as much as possible, and limit your exposure to the cold. Also, please do not leave candles and heaters unattended. Just don’t do anything that would make you wind up in the Darwin Awards.
Stay warm, my friends.