The much anticipated cold front is expected to reach South Florida late tonight, dropping low temperatures into the high 60s and even high 50s in some western areas of the county.
While daytime high temperatures through the weekend should remain near normal, the overnights could tumble eight degrees or more below what’s average for this time of year.
“It’s going to be a very quiet and pleasant next few days and into next week,” said Maria Torres, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “We do have high pressure dominating through the weekend and that will bring drier air with very low humidity.”
The front is expected to be a dry front, so while some showers are possible, the forecast is not calling for the kind of storminess that can rush in with some fronts, Torres said.
What’s causing the drop in temperatures is a deep plunge in the jet stream that will give weather whiplash to people in the mid-Atlantic states and northeast who have seen abnormally warm highs in the 80s this week.
“It’s still not a super strong cold front like we’ll see later in the year, but it’s stronger than the one we got after (Hurricane) Matthew passed and we had drier air move in,” said Andrew Hagen, a meteorologist with the NWS in Miami. “This month, the coldest low we’ve had in West Palm Beach was 73 degrees, so this will be the coldest this season.”
Overnight temperatures have not fallen into the 60s in West Palm Beach since May 26, when the low hit 68 degrees at Palm Beach International Airport.
The front is also expected to push a weakening area of low pressure further to the north away from Florida.
Located about 450 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, the system was once expected to become Tropical Storm Otto, but has since been given only a 40 percent chance of development over the next five days.
“The chances of this system to become a subtropical or tropical system are diminishing,” National Hurricane Center forecasters wrote in their 8 a.m. advisory. “This low is expected to merge with a large frontal system tonight or early Saturday.”
Otherwise, the tropics are clear, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of hurricane season, which runs through the end of November.
Don’t forget what Monday is – the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Wilma.