Bundled up

Catalina Perea, 9, bundled up in a coat and a blanket while waiting for an Amtrak train with her family at the West Palm Beach station Tuesday morning when the temperature was around 50 degrees. (Mark Randall / Sun Sentinel / January 2, 2014)

After a chilly morning, temperatures should climb into the low 60s by this afternoon. But it still should be an overall breezy cool to cold day.

South Florida's Tuesday forecast calls for partly sunny skies with afternoon highs in the low 60s, overnight lows in the mid 50s and gusts to 25 mph.

Wednesday should be warmer, with high temps in the mid 70s. There also is a 50 percent chance of rain.

Here are some of the low temperatures this morning:


Pictures: Floatopia Miami 2014

Pompano Beach: 45

North Miami Beach: 47

Fort Lauderdale: 48

Hollywood: 48

Miami: 50

Those readings aren't quite as cold as initially forecast, as the National Weather Service predicted the upper 30s in Palm Beach County and the low to mid 40s in Broward County.

That was mostly the result of unexpected cloud cover, said meteorologist Chuck Caracozza. "The clouds kept us warmer," he said.

Wind chill readings, however, dipped into the low to mid 40s across much of the region.

Considering Monday was borderline hot and Tuesday morning was nippy cold, South Florida saw temperatures drop about 35 degrees in a matter of about 18 hours:

Miami: 85 to 50 (35 degree drop)
Fort Lauderdale: 82 to 48 (34 degree drop)
West Palm Beach: 82 to 48 (34 degree drop)

"These drops are the largest from an afternoon high to the following morning's low since January 2009," meteorologist Robert Molleda said.

Today's cold is the last we'll see for awhile, as the winds should steadily shift until their out of the east, delivering warmth from the ocean waters, Caracozza said.

"Looks like we're going to stay warm," he said.

Central Florida's Tuesday forecast: Mostly sunny and breezy with highs in the low 50s and lows in the upper 30s.

Not that cold: From weather expert Jim Lushine:

Something to consider: Unlike the bitter cold weather across much of the eastern United States, including North Florida, the modified cold air coming across South Florida today is really not that unusually cold; similar temperatures occur once or twice each winter.

But how can the cold be reconciled with global warming? I like the quote: "It gets hot, it gets cold, it's not our fault." This is certainly true - to a degree.

Temperatures fluctuate on a daily basis. That is called "weather." Temperature changes on a yearly or longer time scale are called "climate."

There is little doubt that that the "climate" is getting warmer, although there is still debate as to how much that warmth is due to human influence.

But, as we're seeing this week with temperatures well below zero across the Midwest, just because it is getting gradually warmer certainly doesn't preclude cold "weather."