HomeLocalHow cold will it get in Key Biscayne?

How cold will it get in Key Biscayne?

A huge winter storm is expected to put much of the U.S. into a deep freeze creating the coldest Christmas in decades — but in Key Biscayne, forecasters say there’s not much to worry about. 

The National Weather Service says temperatures will stay above 50 degrees (10 Celsius) when the thermometer starts to fall sharply on Friday. 

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“It won’t even be record breaking cold here,” said Brian McNoldy, a meteorologist at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.  “The only way we get really cold is if the air takes a track that just is perfectly right down the spine of Florida so it stays over land the whole time.” 

The Gulf of Mexico and Lake Okeechobee act as natural barriers to super-cold air making it down the peninsula south to Miami.

 “As soon as air passes over something as warm as those bodies of water, the air warms up a little bit,” McNoldy said. 

The record low for Christmas Day in Miami is 30 degrees (-1 Celsius) set in 1989. But it still will be the chilliest Christmas since 1995, McNoldy said. Wind chills will make it feel colder, as Christmas Eve and Christmas are expected to be breezy. 

As for the winter storm slamming the rest of the nation, McNoldy said it may be one for the record books. “It’s pretty historic,” he said, with extreme cold for many locations. Climate change, he added, creates more instability in the atmosphere which can lead to extreme weather events happening more frequently.

The blast of frigid weather began hammering the Pacific Northwest Tuesday morning, and is expected to move to the northern Rockies, then grip the Plains in a deep-freeze and blanket the Midwest with heavy snowfall, forecasters say. 

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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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