Local News

Cold front to offer a break from the heat

SEBRING - As the Midwest braces for an early season cold blast with lows around 30, the first cold front of the season will push through Highlands County this week, dropping lows to around 58 degrees Friday and Saturday nights. October is a transitional month in Highlands County and starts out like summer, with the average high in Avon Park at 89 and low at 68. But by the end of the month, the average high and low are down to a more comfortable 83 and 60, respectively. "A taste of fall is possibly on the way," said Robert Garcia, meteorologist with National Weather Service. The previous cold front stalled across the middle of the state. The next cold front will arrive Wednesday night into Thursday and will push the stalled front, he explained.
"They should both clear out, and, hopefully, by Friday we will start to see a taste of fall across the area with lows in the upper 50s, and it looks like we are going to see highs in the lower 80s," Garcia said. The season's previous weaker fronts had little effect on the temperature. The mid-week front should reduce the humidity and dew point. Currently, dew points are in the 70s in Highlands County, but could fall into the upper 50s, Garcia said. The dew point is a way to measure moisture in the air. When the dew point is lower there is less moisture in the air and it's less humid. It feels muggy when the dew point hits the mid 70s, he said. "Once it's 55, it's a really crisp feeling for us." The National Weather Service forecast for Sebring shows a 30 percent chance of scattered showers through Wednesday night with temperatures dropping gradually to highs Thursday through Sunday near 82 degrees and lows around 58 Friday and Saturday nights. The Climate Prediction Center in Washington D.C. believes the eastern part of the country will have below normal temperatures for the next two weeks. "In the short term, over the next week or so, it will probably be a little drier because with this front it seems like we have a pretty good dry air mass coming in," Garcia said. As the Florida Heartland cools just a bit, weather forecasters believe this week some cities like Chicago and Louisville will see their first frost or freeze of the season and temperatures may dip into the 30s as far south as northern Georgia. Snow is in the forecast for some northern parts of the Midwest. Garcia noted another frontal system will be heading south, but he doesn't see anything that would create a lot of rain on Halloween, but one or two days after Halloween could be a little "rainier," depending on the progress of the weather system. Noting that the hurricane season ends Nov. 30, Garcia said, at this time of the year Gulf temperatures start cooling down. Instead of the tropical systems forecasters start seeing more of the winter-type systems, he said. The National Hurricane Center, however, is monitoring a system north of Puerto Rico that could impact Bermuda in the coming days, he added. Those commenting on Facebook are looking forward to a break from the heat. Carol Cian, who is from Buffalo, N.Y., misses the cool weather and most of all -- snow on Christmas morning. "It gets so hot here in Florida we need a breaks from the heat!" she wrote. James David Thibodeau just wants it to be a "touch cooler" so the air conditioner can be turned off and the windows opened. Wes Linscott moved to Highlands County from Maine after retiring. "I do miss the New England fall weather with clear, cool, crisp mornings and the beautiful foliage," he said. But, he likes it here in the middle of winter. "I am one of those who scoff when people say it is cold here," Linscott said. "Looking forward to being outside more now. Too hot during the summer." mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826