Coldest winter here in 30 years

I knew I wasn't imagining it!!  It has been cold, really cold this year.  The Palm Beach Post reported today that South Florida suffered its coldest winter in three decades, and West Palm Beach went through its 10th coldest on record, the National Weather Service said this morning.

A colder-than-normal February left temperatures in the December-to-February period 2 to 3 degrees below normal, "which is remarkable considering that December was 2 to 3 degrees above normal," according to Robert Molleda, warning coordination meteorologist at the weather service's Miami office.

In a summary issued today, Molleda also said that the spring outlook calls for a continuation of cooler and wetter conditions as El Niño continues to influence weather patterns — with March especially cooler than normal because that winter pattern still will be in place.

Extended stretches of cold in January and February resulted in average temperatures during that two-month period of 4 to 5 degrees below normal, and the West Palm Beach area reported its second- coldest January-February on record, going back to 1888.

The average temperature for the season, recorded at Palm Beach International Airport, was 64.1 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.2 degrees below normal. That's the coldest since 1981.  The coldest recorded December-through-February stretch at PBIA, in 1957-1958, saw an average of 61.6 degrees.

Two key events:

A Dec. 17-18 deluge swamped parts of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, as well as southeast Broward and northeast Miami-Dade counties.

Jan. 2-13 was one of the region's coldest 12-day periods on record, with 10 straight days of lows below 45 degrees. It forced hundreds into cold weather shelters, caused thousands to lose power and led to crop losses estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

So, on the local level our tomatoes have suffered and the garden really had a set back.

There's more on the Coastal Florida lifestyle over at and