Florida Keys News
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
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Drag out your winter coat, it's cold outside

Florida Keys residents might want to dust off their space heaters. It's cold, by Keys standards.

The island chain is briefly receiving a break from an unseasonably warm winter. A cold front moved into the Keys Monday night, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Sean Daida.

The temperature is expected to drop into the low 50s at night and 60s during the day, Daida said.

"It is expected to cool down rather quickly," Daida said Monday afternoon. "It will be one of our coolest days of the season."

Sustained winds are expected to reach between 25 and 30 mph, with the occasional 35 to 40 mph gust, Daida said.

The Coast Guard had not issued any small craft advisories as of Monday evening, said Sector Key West spokesman LTJG Max Franco, but urged mariners to make sure their boats are properly secured in a late-afternoon press release.

Gusts as high as 40 mph were expected and the Coast Guard urged the use of secondary mooring lines.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Capt. David Dipre was worried that the sudden drop in temperature, coupled with strong winds, could create problems for live-aboard boaters and charter fishing guides.

"I'm a little concerned, if it drops to 50 (degrees) and starts blowing 30 knots, we're going to have boats coming off moorings and catching people by surprise," Dipre said. "I hope it doesn't hit us that suddenly. Some of the forecasts I've seen are not consistent with the report I got from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), so I'm hoping that it won't be too severe a change."

Temperatures are expected to begin warming up late Wednesday and should return to normal on Thursday, Daida said.

The cold snap comes just days after the Keys experienced one of its wettest January days. Saturday was the third wettest January day on record, Daida said.

Roughly 4 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period on Saturday, Daida said. Jan. 22, 1983, was the wettest winter day with 6 inches. It was followed the very next day with the second wettest winter day on record, with 5.9 inches, Daida said.

Temperatures were expected to dip into the teens in upper Florida, mid-30s in central Florida and as low as 40 degrees in South Florida.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

tohara@keysnews.com

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