It was a steamy year in South Florida — so toasty that 2017 could end up being the hottest on record in Miami, and pretty close to that in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The average daily temperature for Miami in 2017 was 79.1 degrees as of Thursday, which ties it with 2015, the current hottest year on record.
It will eke out a record of 79.2 degrees if the average temperature holds at 75 degrees through Sunday, according to University of Miami researcher Brian McNoldy.
But a looming cold front, expected to arrive New Year’s Day or possibly earlier, “could cause temperatures over the weekend to be about 4 to 8 degrees cooler,” the National Weather Service said.
While that will make for a nice weekend, it could scuttle the record.
“It’s going to come close enough that it’ll be up there, but it might end up being the second-warmest year,” said Robert Garcia, a meteorologist with the Miami office of the National Weather Service. “It’ll be in the top few years.’’
The average daily temperature is calculated by taking the day’s low temperature and adding it to the same day’s high temperature, then dividing by two.
In Broward, the daily average for Fort Lauderdale was 78 degrees — the fifth hottest year. The record was 78.7 degrees, set in 2015.
West Palm Beach’s 76.9 degrees was the sixth hottest on record. It hottest year was also in 2015, with an average daily temperature of 78 degrees.
So why was 2017 so hot? A few reasons, Garcia said.
High pressure from the Atlantic Ocean produced a southeasterly flow that continually steered warm, tropical air into the area. And the daily low temperatures weren’t as low.
“We don’t cool down as much as we used to,” Garcia said.
The National Weather Service’s Key West office noted the early morning 105-degree difference between the coldest place in the country, Watertown, N.Y., which was -32 at 5 a.m on Thursday, compared to Key West at the same time, which was 73 degrees.
While we vie for heat records, the north is battling brutal cold.
Fort Lauderdale: 74
Key West: 76
Palm Beach: 75
Houston, Texas: 44
New York City: 20
Buffalo, NY: 11
Augusta, Maine: 0
Hibbing, Minnesota: -6
Crosby, North Dakota: -15