As I sit and type this on Monday morning, my thermometer says that it is 28 degrees outside, making this our first freeze of the year. To tell the truth, I was beginning to think that Florida had decided not to participate in winter this year. In a typical year, we have usually had our first freeze some time in December.
A Central Florida winter isn’t like winters anywhere else. In winter here, we will get a frost or a freeze, but the temperature usually only stays below freezing until the sun comes up. The temperatures during the day will get to the 50’s or so, then will drop back down as soon as the sun sets. This will last for two or three days, then we are right back to daytime highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. This cycle will repeat three or four times from mid December to about mid February, then the spring thunderstorm season begins.
Not this year. We have been in the 80s during the day, and the mid sixties at night. No frost, no cold. No cold weather until last week, when it dropped to 34 degrees on Monday morning, and our first below freezing this morning.
I remember when I was a kid, we once had a solid three days that temperatures stayed below freezing. My brother and I were amazed that a bucket of water left outside froze. We had never seen ice that wasn’t in the freezer before. I only saw snow twice before I joined the Navy: once in New Orleans when I was three, and once when we went to visit our cousins in Tennessee.
It isn’t climate change. It’s just weather. Four years ago, we had a snow storm around lunchtime, and even though the snow didn’t accumulate, the kids loved it. Next winter won’t be as warm.