Images: First image shows warmest air just off the east coast, the warmest very close to the coast from near Vero to Miami, with the 60F isotherm running from near Daytona Beach SSW toward Naples this morning at sunrise with 60F degrees east and south of that line. The other image shows a forecast for this afternoon with widespread 70s.
OVERNIGHT: The low temperature last night at Patrick AFB occurred around 10pm at 62F (the high there yesterday was 66.6F at 3pm). This falls in line with my previous line of thinking for the days to come. It is interesting that last night it got down to about 62F there (and on my porch) with a light east wind. After midnight the wind switched to the SE and the temperature went up two degrees and held steady the remainder of the night under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Meanwhile, inland temperatures dipped into the low 50s with 40s across much of North Florida away from either coast.
TODAY: Pretty much the same saga continues today. The weak inverted trough along the Gulf Stream is washing out and now only remains from roughly Cape Canaveral and off to the NNE-NE and into the Atlantic, along which some rain showers and denser cloud cover are occurring well offshore. Otherwise, the atmosphere has changed little in the mid-levels with a strong inversion persistent at around 5000ft , above which the wind is from the WSW-W, but below is from the SE which is ushering in the warmer, more moist air at the surface.
As previously mentioned, the only clincher in the forecast is high temperatures directly related to cloud cover and the cool Atlantic waters for those close to the shore line. Last satellite animation shows some patches of mid-level clouds heading this way in scattered mode, with the stratocumulus hugging the east central coast right where the last of the inverted trough exists there. With us already off to a good start in the temperatures department, believe that diurnal heating will be enough to break 70F today (it is already from West Palm and south at 9AM), with a high today right along the coast leveling off in the 72F range and holding steady due to the influence of the close proximity of the colder Atlantic, but from Sebastian Inlet or Vero Beach south mid-70s (along A1A) will become a more likely reality. All inland areas away from the ocean's cooling effect will also see widespread mid-70s approaching low end upper 70s. Believe the stratocumulus will make their most assured break (assuming they do) by noon through 4pm just before, during, and just after the time the sun is at its peak, but we may once again see them develop by later in the afternoon. At a minimum, it will be partly cloudy this afternoon. Wind will be SE at 7-12mph today.
TONIGHT: Looks like the stage is set for a very stagnant temperature regime under a continuing SE flow which will aid in leveling off the playing field in that department. Overnight lows along the coast in the low to mid 60s from near Daytona and everywhere south east of US1, and more likely along A1A with mid 50s inland. Afternoon highs near Port Canaveral in the low 70s toward Sebastian but warmer everywhere else. Clouds remain an iffy issue, especially along the coast, but do believe we'll be seeing more sun than clouds Saturday.
NEW YEARS DAY: Lows in the low 60s again along A1A and cooler inland with some clouds off and on. Nothing new and a nice way to bring in the New Year.
SUNDAY: Just wanted to highlight this day as it could be the warmest one in a while with more mid-upper 70s everywhere including the immediate coastline. A dynamically challenged 'cold front' looks to cross Central Florida early Monday, but in advance of the boundary high pressure to the east of the state will sink a tad south well in advance with the result being a SSW-SW wind all day Sunday which will permit afternoon high temperatures to be most notably warmer along the A1A corridor from that of today and tomorrow. Do believe we will see some high and mid-level clouds simultaneously but despite the clouds the temperatures will be warmer, unless of course there is an overcast sky most of the day. This will be re-evaluated as that time approaches. But for now, the potential stands for a warm Sunday everywhere.
MONDAY-JANUARY 6th: The only affect the passing front will induce is for a few cooler morning low temperatures (upper 50s as opposed to low 60s along the coast, cooler inland), with afternoon highs right around the 70F degree mark. A brief period of NW winds will follow the front, that will quickly veer toward the NE-E as high pressure again follows the same path as the southern extent of the average storm track, namely off the North Carolina coast. As written yesterday, it still looks like the next week's average storm track will be from Central to Southern California toward the ENE and off the NE U.S. coast. Southern California could be in for two more bouts of rain during this period, but of short duration compared to what has been experienced. Also expect to hear a lot over the press about ice becoming an issue near the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi River Valley areas as the battle between the relatively warm air mass over the SE U.S. continues waging with the much cooler air mass of Pacific Origin across that playing field.