Cold front headed to Southwest Florida before weather transitions during April to hotter days
A cold front is working its way through Southwest Florida, which is a nice reprieve from a region that suffered through record highs earlier this week.
"Fort Myers tied a record (Tuesday) at 91 degrees," said Rodney Wynn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin, which covers the Fort Myers and Sarasota areas.
The Fort Myers area also tied a record on March 25(last Thursday), with a high of 92 degrees, a mark that was first set in 1907, according to NWS records.
"We've seen a very warm air mass for the past week with southerly wind keeping us at above average temperatures, but we are going to see a late season cold front move though the area (Thursday)," Wynn said. "By Saturday it looks like you'll get a 10 to 15 degree drop in temperatures, and by Sunday it will moderate back to 80 degrees."
The average highs across Southwest Florida range from the upper 70s in the Sarasota area to the lower 80s for Naples this time of year, he said.
But this weekend, nighttime temperatures will drop down into low 50s, Wynn said.
"It might (even) get a little cooler in Sarasota," he said. "It will be a few degrees cooler than Fort Myers."
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Naples will see slightly warmer conditions, according to National Weather Service in Miami, which covers the Naples area.
"That's going to cool things down for Friday compared to what we've been seeing," said Chuck Caracozza, an NWS meteorologist in Miami. "But it's not a big push of cold air because we're late in the season."
But this might be the last reprieve before summer-like conditions set in as April is a notch hotter that March, a meteorological step toward the grueling days of summer.
"We're not in the tropics but pretty close, so we maintain more of that warm, subtropical air mass," he said. "And in April we don't get a whole lot of rain."
The lack of rain and cloud cover can cause daily highs to soar in April.
"As we start to move through the month, the second or third week of April is when the warm weather really starts to dominate," Caracozza said. "This is kind of like the last hurrah, and it will be relatively dry throughout the month. Then we'll transition into May."
Historically, May 15 has been the average starting date of the summer rainy season, with mid-October being the start of the next dry season.
For now, Southwest Floridians are still dealing with this dry season, with April being on the hotter end of the scale.
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Jesus Hernandez owns a lawn care service in Fort Myers and said he and his crew of 18 employees are starting to feel the seasonal transition.
"We can definitely feel the change for sure," Hernandez said. "We can definitely feel the summer upon us."
He said they're looking forward to the coming cold front.
"We joke around and say 'this is the last of the last cool weather' because we know summer is right around the corner," Hernandez said. "(Summer is) knocking on our door."
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