Here’s why it’s been so hot and dry in Florida

Central Florida could see temperatures in the 90s next week

ORLANDO, Fla. – There have certainly been rounds of cold in Florida from time to time this winter, but more often than not, it has been warm.

The warmth rose to new heights Friday when every spot in Central Florida tied or set new temperature records.

This is partially because the La Nina pattern has been on full display lately. Typically in La Nina season, the South and Southeast U.S. are warmer and dryer than normal.

La Nina

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The calling card of the La Nina pattern is the subtropical ridge that typically sets up over the extreme southwest Atlantic and Caribbean.

Areas under the influence of these weather features are hot and dry. High pressure promotes sinking air. When air sinks, it warms up and dries.

Not only do these systems help to force cold and moisture north, but they are also a heating source.

Upper Level Pattern

Next week, this ridge of high pressure is set to expand and intensify. In all likelihood, Central Florida will make a run for the lower 90s on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with Thursday and Friday being the hottest days.

This overall pattern will likely hold through at least the end of February.

Parts of Central Florida have also moved back into drought status. That is something that could expand further if the long-range forecast comes to fruition.

Climate Prediction Center

The warming climate may also be adding a few degrees to an already warm weather pattern. With the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic being warmer than normal, temperatures, even inland, don’t fall as much at night.

A warmer atmosphere also holds more moisture. When there is more moisture present, temperatures also don’t fall as much after sunset.

To be clear, we would be sizzling anyway because of the pattern we are in, but the overall warming climate is enhancing it.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.