February temperatures have been well above average across southwest Florida. Naples has averaged more than 4 degrees warmer than usual for the month; temperatures in Fort Myers have averaged about 2 degrees warmer than seasonal values. Warm temperatures have been accompanied by a continued deficit in precipitation.
Hence, the forecast for the next two days brings a little bit of balance as the end of the month arrives. Temperatures are expected to be near or slightly below seasonal average, while scattered showers and thunderstorms, along with some periods of more or less steady rain, are on the radar screen.
As usual, in southwest Florida’s southern latitude, cold fronts bring glancing blows, at best. Although yesterday’s late afternoon temperatures hovered in the 30’s and 40’s across Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, south Florida warmed into the upper 70’s (Fig. 1). As the cold front slides slowly southward (the front passed Naples shortly after 4:00 a.m. E.S.T. today, Feb. 27, 2014), the really cold air won’t reach southwest Florida; any chilly air that does make it this far south will be quickly swept into the Gulf of Mexico as winds turn to the northeast and east by Saturday. Cloudy skies will keep daytime readings on the low side, but trap heat overnight.
Then, above average warmth and below average rainfall forecasts return starting this weekend and continuing into the middle of next week.
Overall, the weather is fairly boring and tranquil here compared to the chilly, snowy northern tier. Guess that’s why so many snowbirds are still in southwest Florida this year.
© 2014 H. Michael Mogil