South Florida’s July nights have remained unusually sultry, with Sunday dipping to only 84 degrees.
The temperature was not only a full eight degrees above normal, but also marked the third record-high minimum in three days, beating 82 degrees set in 2010.
And with this morning also hitting just 84 degrees, it’s possible a fourth record-breaking day will be christened by the National Weather Service in Miami at midnight, blowing by another 82-degree low set on this day in 2010.
Normal overnight temperatures for mid-July are 76 degrees, but they’ve been hovering closer to 80 since July 1.
“We’ve been setting records at West Palm Beach for a good chunk of the month,” said Larry Kelley, a meteorologist with the NWS in Miami. “West Palm Beach has set or tied eight records so far this month. It would be nine if this morning is a record.”
July 5 through July 8 was a four-day stretch of overnight heat records. July 12 tied the record low for that day of 82 degrees set in 2003.
Today’s high in West Palm Beach is expected to reach 92, which is two degrees above what’s normal for this time of year.
Sunday’s high of 93 degrees marked the 24th day where daytime highs were 90 degrees or higher. It was the 18th day where temperatures were higher than what’s normal for this time of year.
But, the area is a long way off from the record number of consecutive 90-plus days.
Kelley said in 1951, West Palm Beach suffered through 71 days straight where temperatures were 90 or higher.
“It’s obvious with the records being set that it’s a warm month,” Kelley said. “We’re under this high pressure system and we’re getting lots of sun during the day.”
Part of why the heat is staying put overnight is the lack of widespread afternoon showers. A dry layer in the upper atmosphere has prevented the typical rain that helps cool things off before sunset.
The sea surface temperatures are also up to 86-degrees off the coast of Palm Beach County, meaning the easterly breeze is blowing in off warm waters and offering less of a cool down.
The dry, warm temperatures are likely to remain in place through Wednesday or Thursday when rain chances increase to 70 percent.