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Record Highs Possible Over The Peninsula Late This Week As Cool Pattern Reverses

Storm Moves Away; Warm Ridge Builds
Dr. Athena Masson
Storm Moves Away; Warm Ridge Builds

Some portions of the greater Tampa Bay region could see record temperatures by Thursday.

The abnormally chilly temperatures from the weekend are about to be a distant memory as a pattern change sets in over the Florida Peninsula.

Sanford's high of 59 on Sunday was the coldest high temperature on record there for March 21. Leesburg's high of 57 degrees set a similar record. A slow-moving area of low pressure off Florida's east coast maintained a persistent northeast wind off of the relatively cooler waters of the Atlantic. These northeast winds pushed the extensive cloud cover into much of the peninsula and was the big reason for the record chill in some spots.

A large pattern reversal will push the area of low pressure farther east into the Atlantic. In its place, a building ridge at all levels of the atmosphere will mean a dramatic warming trend starting Wednesday and lasting through much, if not all, of the upcoming weekend.

Winter Haven, Leesburg, and Brooksville are all likely to come close to or break their records on Thursday. If the current forecast holds, Sanford, Vero Beach, and Jacksonville have a good chance of tying or breaking their record highs on Friday. Highs are forecast to reach the upper 80s and lower 90s away from the immediate coast; temperatures will be a few degrees cooler along the immediate coastline.

A cold front is likely to approach the peninsula Sunday night or Monday, offering up an opportunity for cooler temperatures early next week.

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Ray Hawthorne
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