The same winter storm bringing blizzards and tornadoes across the U.S. this week will reach South Florida this weekend with rain and a chill.
But newly arrived snowbirds needn’t fear: it will be mild, and it won’t stay long.
“It’s not too cool with this cold front,” said Larry Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Miami.
For now, South Floridians can expect a dreary weekend.
Forecasters predict rain beginning late Thursday and early Friday through the weekend, and perhaps an isolated thunderstorm or two.
“Overall, it looks like we have numerous wet and cloudy days ahead of us,” the National Weather Service’s Wednesday forecast said.
Ahead of the front, temperatures will remain in the mid-80s through Thursday, “pretty warm for this time of year,” Kelly said.
The cooldown should begin Friday as the front “oozes” south through the state, said Barry Baxter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Highs will be in the 70s through the end of the weekend, the coolest temperatures since late November, after Hurricane Nicole.
Sunday will be the coolest day, with morning temperatures in the low 60s across Miami-Dade and Broward counties and highs in the mid 70s. In Palm Beach County, the lows will reach about 60 degrees, with a high of only 70 that day.
Further inland, the lows will be lower, in some places even dropping to the 50s — but only slightly.
By Tuesday, temperatures will return to the upper 70s. Balmy weather should continue into the rest of the week.
So far, South Florida has seen a warmer winter this year.
“Right now our temperatures are running above normal,” Kelly said. The normal value for this time of year is 78 degrees, he said, and right now temperatures are about 2 to 3 degrees higher than that.
This weekend’s cold front will bring those temperatures closer to normal, perhaps a few degrees below it on Sunday. Then it will be gone.
So when can South Floridians expect a real chill?
It’s possible another cold front could make its way down here just in time for Christmas, said Baxter. But it’s still too far out to say.
“It’s really just a matter of how strong these cold fronts will be when they make their way to the us down here,” Kelly said.
Most cold fronts have simply not survived the journey to South Florida yet, stalling to the north in areas such as the Florida Panhandle. But those fronts should become more frequent, and stronger, later in the month and into January, forecasters said.