Record Heat in Central/SW FloridaJanuary 10th, 2013 at 2:25 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Sunset earlier this week in Fort Myers, Florida – looking west toward Sanibel Is (from the NBC station in Ft. Myers). My father went to Ft. Myers in 1927. They found a boat and went out to Sanibel Is. There wasn’t much there, he said, but mosquito and alligator infested swamps. Before mosquito-control and air-conditioning, Florida was a different world. An all-time record January high temperature was tied in Fort Myers, Florida yesterday (Weds.) at 88 degrees (tying 1/22/62, 1/2/82 and 1/19/90) and also at Sarasota, Florida at 87 degrees (tying 1/23/90). Daily records were also set at Tampa (85) and Lakeland (87). A major “chinook” also brought warm temperatures to the lee of the Rockies, with Denver hitting 60, Great Falls MT at 53 and Calgary, Alberta at 44. It was odd to see Denver 23 degrees warmer than Marfa, Texas – where the high was just 37. Heavy rain fell over much of Texas and Louisiana, with Baton Rouge picking up 4.56″, Waco TX 4.35″, Beaumont TX 3.48″ and 3.13″ at Dallas.
Model update. The European has 0.58″ of rain Thurs. night into Friday AM in G.R., the GFS has a similar 0.61″ and the NAM (Caribou) only 0.35″. I’ll side with the higher total. The rain starts in the early evening at the Indiana border and works north to U.S. 10 by midnight or shortly thereafter. Northeast of G.R. there is a chance that there could be a brief hour or two of freezing rain, which should melt off by daybreak as temperatures warm. The European is the warmest with a forecast high for G.R. of 55 on Friday and 58 on Saturday. The daily record high for both Friday and Saturday is 55. The NAM caribou has just 45 Friday and 49 Saturday, while the regular NAM has 55 Friday and 50 on Saturday. The GFS has 54 on Friday and 57 on Saturday. The highest temperature ever in G.R. in January (from Threaded Extremes) was 68 on 1/22/1894, followed by 66 on 1/1/1895 and 1/25/1950.
Beware of slick roads Sunday AM. All 3 models (GFS, NAM and European) now have rain, possibly changing to freezing rain or wet snow as temperatures cool. This would start Saturday night and continue into Sunday AM. The GFS has the most with 0.34″, the European has 0.12″ . There is more precipitation to the southeast of G.R. (0.31″ on the European), but a greater chance that most all of it would be rain. But there could be a narrow band across the area where there could be a couple hours of freezing rain or wet snow…not a big ice storm and roads and the ground should be warm from the 50s on Fri./Sat. However, keep up with later forecasts. Remember DAYBREAK on WOOD., TV-8 is live from 6-8 AM both Saturday and Sunday. Keep that in mind on the weekends when you get up…you can get a fresh forecast, radar and road conditions in the AM. Also, here’s water temperatures for Lake Michigan…mid 30s to low 40s. There’s still potential for lake-effect snow if we could ever drag some Arctic air down here and have the other parameters line up. Happy January Thaw!