Cold crash for Christmas

Christmas Eve chill (WPLG)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – This season has been notably void of chilly air so far in South Florida, with the coldest reading for Miami coming in at just 63 back on October 19.

November went down as the second warmest on record, and December has been on a similar trajectory.

But all of that looks to change just in time for Christmas. In fact, it may well be in the top 10 list for coldest Christmas Days on record.

Top 10 coldest Christmases (WPLG)

The reason for the warm weather has been a stubborn hump in the jet stream, which has kept a persistent and strong high pressure over Florida.

This has acted as a cold air block, preventing any meaningful cold fronts from invading the area. This bump in the jet stream is finally breaking down this week as a potent low pressure system charges east of the Rockies. This opens the door to air that has been chilling over the snowpack of Northern Canada to spill southward into the US.

It will be an exceptional Arctic outbreak, with temperatures as cold as -40 and wind chills to -60 in places like Wyoming and Montana. Dallas may see sub-freezing temperatures for 3 days, a place that is not built for the cold as the February 2021 freeze and resulting energy crisis displayed.

For South Florida, we will be warm through the week, with the front not slamming in until late Friday.

It will quickly cause temperatures to plunge, with lows in the lower 50s to upper 40s both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. The afternoons will bright and sunny, but high temperatures may struggle to reach the low to mid 60s.

Forecast low temperatures (WPLG)

So when was the last time Miami had a Christmas this cold? Not long ago, actually. Just two years ago in 2020, Christmas morning was at 49 (though the high that day made it to the mid-70s). So this year’s chill looks more notable.

Still, South Florida will do what it does best and show off as one of the warmest and most comfortable places to be in the heart of winter.


About the Author:

Luke Dorris joined the Local 10 Weather Authority just in time for Hurricane Irma in 2017.