It was cold last week. Accuweather reports that it was the coldest it’s been in Florida in 30 years.
I won’t argue with that. The upper teens and low 20s aren’t foreign to us here in North Florida but they aren’t commonplace either. And when you have a day like last Tuesday, Jan. 7, when the high was barely above freezing, it’s downright rawboned and a time to stay indoors.
We don’t get those kinds of days very often, thank goodness, because most of us aren’t thick-blooded enough to cope with it. Usually we may get a few days in the upper 20s but by noon it’s 60 degrees. And that’s fine. I like seasonal weather. In the winter it’s supposed to be cold. This week is actually more what our weather should feel like during this time of year.
In 1899 Florida had its coldest weather. It’s described by Wikipedia and also mentioned in the novel “A Land Remembered.” On February 12, snow started falling from Fort Myers and Tampa in Florida west towards New Orleans. Blizzard conditions were reported north of Tampa along the west coast of Florida due to ocean-effect snow. The storm crossed the Florida peninsula and intensified as it rapidly moved up the Eastern United States. The recorded temperature in Tallahassee was -2 degrees.
Here are some facts about weather, both hot and cold, in our Sunshine state.
Florida Temperature Records
• Hottest temperature ever recorded: 109 F, Monticello, northwestern Florida, 6/29/1931
• Hottest location ranked by highest average annual temperature: Key West, southern Florida, 77.8 F
• Coldest location ranked by lowest average annual temperature: Niceville, northwestern Florida, 66.0 F
Some more interesting facts
• The summer of 1998 was Florida's hottest summer. During June, Melbourne broke 21 daily high temperature records, experienced 24 days equal or above 90 degrees and 4 days equal or above 100 degrees.
• Miami endured its hottest summer ever in 2010. The average temperature from June - August was 85.17 F. The temperature reached or exceeded 90F degrees on 80 out of a possible 92 days. The low temperature did not drop below 80F on 40 days, breaking the previous record of 33 days.
• Jacksonville experienced a unique year in climate during 2010. The period from January 1 to March 30 was the coldest start to any year in Jacksonville's recorded history (going back to 1871). Jacksonville's temperature through March 30 averaged 51.1 degrees, which was 5.7 degrees below normal. By July, record heat had arrived. From July 8 through August 26, the temperature equaled or exceeded 90 degrees for a record 50 consecutive days.
• Key West is considered the hottest city in the United States with an annual average temperature of 77.8 F, but the city endured a historic cold wave from January 2 - 13, 2010. One of the longest and most intense cold periods ever recorded, temperatures remained more than 10 degrees below normal each day, while January 10th and 11th were over 20 degrees below normal. The record low maximum temperature of 52 degrees observed on January 10th was the coldest high temperature recorded in Key West in almost 70 years.