Forecasting Change: Coldest time of the year not as cold

Temperatures more than five degrees warmer than 1970

Coldest time of the year
Coldest time of the year

ORLANDO, Fla. – I want to take a look at what is usually the coldest time of the year and how a changing climate is taking up a lot of that time.

This year we have actually had a Florida winter. What do I mean by that? To start we have had some pretty cold nights.

On Dec. 27, temperatures dropped to an official overnight low of 35 degrees. In recent years, that might stand out as the only cold night, but on Jan. 10 Orlando had a low of 37.

The graphic below explains the January chill. We had 15 days below the normal high of 71 degrees and 16 nights with a low of 49 degrees or below.

January in Orlando

Central Florida also dropped to a low of 37 this week Wednesday morning and on Thursday woke up under a freeze warning with temperatures at 35 degrees at Orlando International Airport.

The coldest time of the year in Orlando is over past the middle of January. This graphic below shows how much warmer that coldest time is now compared to previous years.

Since 1970 Central Florida temperatures are up by about 5.5 degrees.

Coldest time of the year

Keep in mind a warmer winter might not be bad compared to rising sea levels, stronger storms, pests that don’t die and nasty droughts. But in an area like Florida, which spends most of the year super hot, losing a cool down for winter will be a hard pill to swallow for some.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.