Florida Likely Faces a Warm, Dry Winter

November 3, 2017

The water-soaked landscapes left across Florida by recent storms could be a crucial benefit this winter.

Long-range forecasts indicate that average temperatures in the state through April will be warmer than normal, while rainfall will be lower than normal. The extra water available might become an unexpected gift.

While addressing a session at Florida Farm Bureau’s 2017 Annual Meeting on Oct. 31, Florida State Climatologist David Zierden said La Nina conditions now prevail in the eastern Pacific.

Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Zierden noted that a La Nina is typically associated with a 2 to 4 degree increase in temperature in Florida by mid-winter. During such periods central and south Florida counties receive half their normal amount of rainfall.

But Zierden pointed out that “Just because we are going to be on average over the course of the whole season maybe 2 to 4 degrees warmer than normal doesn’t eliminate the possibility of winter weather.” There is no reason to mothball coats and jackets.

“We can have more warm days and still have the possibility of cold air outbreaks and winter weather,” he said.

For more information, visit http://climatecenter.fsu.edu/.