Forecast: Palm Beach County cold snap to moderate later this week

Laura Graham, of Lake Worth, moved here from New York about eight years ago and enjoys the cool weather. Though it can sometimes get chilly, it’s “better than a blizzard,” she said earlier this year. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

A third night of cold conditions is set for Monday night, with a chance of frost southwest of Lake Okeechobee, the National Weather Service’s Miami office said Monday.

Conditions should moderate later this week, although overnight lows still get into the 40s in the Glades, the weather service said in forecasts.

A second cold front will arrive Friday, but the forecasts show limited impact, with overnight lows only in the 50s and highs climbing into the upper 70s by this weekend.

“It’s just a little bit of cool and dry air coming.  It’s not going to be as cold as this previous front that we just had,” forecaster Maria Torres said Monday morning from the weather office west of Miami.

Monday’s high, as recorded at Palm Beach International Airport, was expected to reach 65, well below the average of 77 as well as the record of 86 set in 2012. The overnight low into Tuesday was expected to hit 42; the average is 61 and the record is 34, set in 1962.

The high Sunday at PBIA reached 62; the record high was 87, set in 2009. The average is 77 and last year’s high was 72. Sunday’s low was 44; the record was 33, set in 1917. The average low is 61 and last year’s was 62.

The week’s extremes: Tuesday: high 73, then overnight low of 47. Wednesday: high of 65, then overnight low of 43. Thursday: high 69, then an overnight low of 55. Friday: high of 77, then an overnight low of 57. Saturday: high of 74, then an overnight low of 62. Sunday: high of 78.

LIVE RADAR: Check The Palm Beach Post’s radar map.

Glades and Hendry counties were under a frost advisory overnight into Monday. The overnight low into Tuesday could drop as low as 40 around Lake Okeechobee, the weather service forecast said.

Cold weather also historically means dry weather, and the combination raises fire concerns this time of the year. But 3.32 inches of rain has fallen since Nov. 1, compared to an average of 2.92, meaning the ground and vegetation still contain some moisture.

And while fewer people are braving the water this week, those who do need to watch for enhanced rip currents because of the increased winds and waves. And boating likely won’t be fun or safe, the weather service said.

Record cold Sunday in West Palm Beach, unusually cold again tonight

Clouds, rain and chilly temperatures plagued South Florida Sunday, tying a record cold high set 62 years ago.

Sunday’s high temperature at Palm Beach International Airport reached just 59 degrees.

That’s 16 degrees below normal and tied the record-cold daytime high set in 1955.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

Naples and Fort Lauderdale also experienced record cold on Sunday. At just 60 degrees, Naples broke the record-cold high of 64 set in 2007. Fort Lauderdale tied its record of 62 degrees set in 1978.

A combination of a disintegrating front near the Florida Straits, with a deep dip in the jet stream high in the atmosphere is to blame for the cold, wet day.

Jet stream forecast
Jet stream forecast

While a dry front pushing through this morning should mean clearing skies today and highs reaching near 70 degrees, tonight will bring another blast of cold.

Related: Why clouds don’t act like blankets overnight 

With no clouds radiating infrared radiation toward the surface overnight, the ground will easily lose its daytime heat leading to much cooler temperatures.

National Weather Service forecasters in Miami are calling for overnight lows in the upper 30s across north-central Palm Beach County and around 50 degrees along the coast.

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“A reinforcing shot of chilly air behind a weak front may allow wind chill temperatures to drop from the mid to upper-30s across areas west of Lake Okeechobee to mid-40s to near 50 across the southeast coast and 40s elsewhere across interior South Florida,” forecasters wrote in a hazardous weather outlook this morning.

The official forecast for West Palm Beach overnight is 46 degrees. Jupiter could see 49 degrees, with Wellington falling to 46 degrees. If those temperatures verify, it could be the coldest night of the season for many areas.

It will likely be the coldest night of the year. So far this month, the coldest temperature West Palm Beach has experienced is 51 degrees on Jan. 8.

The normal overnight low for late January is 57 degrees.

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Winds aloft created stunning cloud streets this morning over Palm Beach at sunrise. Jan. 30, 2017. Photo by Kimberly Miller

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