The Summer Solstice may have been on June 21, but typically that’s not our hottest day even though it’s the longest day and has the highest sun angle in the Northern Hemisphere. Usually there’s a lag of seasons. Think about the snow pack; snow still remains in some of the mountainous regions of our country in June. By August, the snow line is a top only the highest peaks. These simple examples highlight the delay of the brutal summer heat. However, here in Florida, we know hot just turns hotter as the summer months progress.
So far, as of this writing, our hottest temperature of the year was 98° and that ironically occurred last Saturday on the Summer Solstice. That could change this weekend or early next week as I’ll go into detail in a moment.
With that said, here’s an interesting map of when the hottest day of the year is based on a 30 year climatology around the country. I’d have to agree with the depiction that ours is around the second or third week of July, but you can see the regional differences likely due to certain a variety of weather patterns (such as the June heat in Arizona and New Mexico before the monsoon rains arrive in early July). Even the Florida Peninsula has a lot of local variation because…well…water has a big influence on temperature.
Of course, some years are without a doubt hotter than others. For example, our 2014 high of 98° is already just as hot as all of 2013. Due to a rainy summer, the hottest day was before the Solstice on June 12, 2013.
THIS WEEKEND AND EARLY NEXT WEEK:
It seems more and more likely that we’ll see a really hot stretch of weather. High pressure will be the dominant weather feature and given it’s position, a west to northwest flow will heat us up quickly and will keep the sea breeze pinned to the coast. Little storminess and lots of heat will be the story. If you are one of the lucky spots that sees the one or two storms, that might just save you from the worst heat. Don’t count on it though.
I feel confident in saying highs will be widespread in the mid to upper 90’s away from the beaches as models have been pointing at such heat for many days now. One model in particular, the American GFS, has been suggesting highs hitting or exceeding the century mark at least one of the days in the period for many days. What I don’t know is when your hottest day will be exactly, but it won’t make much of a difference. Again it depends on where you are and if you see rain. The other piece of the puzzle is how long the heat wave will last. We’ll have to see when the rain really moves in and it all is ultimately up to an area of low pressure off South Carolina (slight chance of development). Trends have been shifting to a longer spell of this weather, but as of now I’m thinking by Wednesday the pattern will flip.
Humidity will be existent this weekend, but real-feel temperatures (heat index values) will only be a few degrees above the actual air temperature. If the heat core does stick around on Tuesday and Wednesday it could feel more miserable due to an increase in moisture expected.
A record high is possible over the next few days, but Mother Nature will have to work hard. All of the record highs through July 1 in Tallahassee are in the 100’s. Apalachicola’s record highs are a little less extreme, but that makes sense due to a greater influence from the sea breeze.