Wednesday, January 22nd 2020, 6:00 am - The National Weather Service has issued an unusual warning for Florida.
Looking for a warm vacation destination? You might want to consider Alberta over Florida this week.
It all comes down to the winds. While Alberta has been caught in the deep freeze for the past few weeks, Arctic high pressure has finally retreated and now moist, Pacific air is streaming over the Rockies. That sets the stage for downsloping Chinook winds -- synonymous with strong gusts and rapidly climbing temperatures, especially for southwestern Alberta.
Those prevailing west winds have given early morning temperatures a boost for southern Alberta on Wednesday, with spots like Lethbridge only dipping to 1ºC.
The winds aren't doing any favours for Florida, however. Strong flow from the north is flooding the peninsula with cold, dry air -- the type of air that generally only makes it into the state once or twice a year.
This wintry blast is so potent, wind chill advisories extend as far south as Miami, where it felt close to the freezing mark on Wednesday morning.
Jan 21 - This isn't something we usually forecast, but don't be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr! #flwx #miamiNWS Miami on Twitter
Farther north, some spots along the Panhandle will actually feel colder than those in southern Alberta, as early morning lows drop below 0ºC.
While it's not what we usually think of when we think of Florida, and they do threaten to damage tender crops across Central and North Florida, these temperatures aren't record breaking. Orlando's record low is -7ºC, Jacksonvile's is -10ºC, and Pensacola's is a frosty -14ºC. All of those records were set amid the 'Super Arctic Outbreak' of mid-January, 1985. For Miami's record low, you have to look back to 1940, when the city dropped to -2ºC.
I can confirm that falling iguanas are a real thing #FloridaWinterMaria M. Bilbao on Twitter
Thumbnail image courtesy Joan Huang.