Great news! The oppressively high dew point temperatures of the past week are going to become history in about three days. A series of cold fronts, each being reinforced by the one following it, will gradually make their way southward across the Florida peninsula. These fronts are linked to the development of a large-scale upper level trough across the eastern US.
By Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 23, 2013, for example, the Ocala area should see its dew points tumble into the mid 50’s. At the same time, south Florida will still be in throes of a sultry air mass, with dew points in the mid 70’s.
On Thursday morning, forecasts call for dew points in Ocala to tumble further (dropping into the upper 40’s). Around this time, locations north of Alligator Alley should see the initial signs of dew point relief. The Alley will effectively be the demarcation line, separating dew points in the upper 60’s from dew points in the low to mid 70’s.
Friday promises relief across the entire south Florida region (except for the Keys). Dew points will have dropped into mid 60’s, or even lower, in most locations.
Accompanying this dew point transition across south Florida, look for daytime temperatures to drop into the upper 70’s or lower 80’s depending upon the amount and timing of cloud cover and precipitation. Winds will become northeasterly and breezy. Once the front fully clears our area and skies clear, daytime temperature readings will rise into the lower to mid 80’s; breezy northeast winds should continue.
The most significant transition is going to involve low temperatures. With the removal of atmospheric moisture (water vapor is a Greenhouse gas), it will be easier for the Earth to radiate energy to space at night. Hence, nighttime low temperatures will tumble even more than the daytime readings. By Friday, morning lows in southwest Florida will range from the upper 50’s in interior locales to the lower 60’s closer to the coast (Fig. 1). This variation is linked to the modifying influence of the warmer Gulf of Mexico waters and the associated slightly higher dew points in the air nearer the Gulf of Mexico.
Unless someone in your family is an allergy sufferer, consider capitalizing on this low dew point weather regime. The four-day period starting on Friday is going to be a great time to ventilate your home after a lengthy air conditioning season. This should also be the start of lower electric company bills as the air conditioning won’t have to run as often.
© 2013 H. Michael Mogil