If the forecast holds true, overnight lows Wednesday in West Palm Beach will dip to 50 degrees with the high Thursday reaching just 63 degrees at Palm Beach International Airport.
The normal high temperature at the airport for Jan. 18 is 75 degrees.
This will be the fourth strong cold push since mid-December with nearly half of January’s average daily temperatures below normal.
Last year, just three January days had below normal average temperatures by mid-month.
National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said a lack of clouds Wednesday night should allow temperatures to fall into the mid 30s west of Lake Okeechobee, low 40s for much of interior South Florida and low 50s along the east coast.
“Northerly flow will continue through the day Thursday, keeping temperatures from rising above the mid 60s, some 10-15 degrees below seasonal norms,” forecasters wrote in a Tuesday morning discussion.
By Friday, winds in South Florida will turn to the northeast, which typically acts to moderate temperature and increase moisture with air flowing in from over the Atlantic.
Today, gusty northeasterly winds will bring a high risk of rip currents along the Atlantic beaches and hazardous boating conditions. The NWS has issued alerts for a high rip current risk and small craft advisory through this evening.
The cold front Wednesday is part of a winter storm dubbed Inga by The Weather Channel that could bring snow as far south as Tallahassee where the possibility of “wintry precipitation” is in the forecast for tonight. That is forecast to change to “mostly/all snow by early Wednesday morning” in areas of northwestern Florida.
“It’s pretty unusual that our office would be dealing with two winter events in such quick succession,” said Mark Wool, a meteorologist in the Tallahassee office of the NWS. “We’ve just had a very amplified storm track across the nation where the jet stream dips well south and helps bring the winter systems across the southern states.”
Low temperatures in North Florida behind the front could drop into the 20s with the daytime highs “near or below freezing”
South Florida won’t see the front push through until Wednesday night, leaving early Wednesday morning with the coolest temperatures.