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Cooler and drier air is on the way to Southwest Florida

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Step outside this Sunday morning (Dec. 15, 2013) anywhere in southwest Florida and you’ll likely have memories of summertime heat and humidity. Naples Municipal Airport (APF), for example, was reporting a sultry temperature reading of 75 degrees with an equally oppressive dew point of 74 just before sunrise. Regional Southwest Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers reported in with a temperature of 74 and a dew point of 72. APF’s readings were 6 degrees higher than the same time on Saturday morning; RSW’s readings were 11 degrees warmer. Discomfort usually starts to build when dew points reach 60; by the time dew points reach 70 degrees, its uncomfortable to most of us.

The good news is that a cold front is on the move through Florida. Temperatures across the Panhandle have dropped into the lower 40’s to the upper 50’s and the mid 60’s further down the peninsula. The cold front is expected to clear the Keys by later tonight before becoming stationary north of Cuba.

This cold front will eventually spell relief to all of Florida in the form of cooler temperatures and lower dew points. As the front approaches, cloudiness and scattered showers and thunderstorms will dominate southwest Florida weather today. A few of the storms could be locally strong and some could produce brief heavy downpours. Once the cold front passes, some light showers or periods of rain should linger into the overnight hours.

Then look for several days of pleasant weather with daytime highs in the mid 70’s and overnight lows ranging from near 50 inland to the mid 50’s along the immediate coast. Bright sunshine (with some high cloudiness) will allow for the warm-up to begin by Tuesday. It isn’t until the winds shift to northeast on Wednesday (and marine air returns) that temperatures will approach and top 80 as the week unfolds.

Although the cold front isn’t supposed to be a severe weather maker, there was at least one report of a possible tornado Saturday (Dec. 14, 2013) evening near Palm Coast (Flagler County) in northeast Florida. The Flagler County Emergency Management Center passed on a report of downed trees, snapped tree tops and power outages around 7:00 p.m. E.S.T.

© 2013 H. Michael Mogil

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