Happy December! A large continental storm system is bringing everything from severe thunderstorms to heavy snow across the country this weekend, but in Florida, Sunday brings one more day of shining sun and 80-degree warmth. Make sure today is your pool day, though. Change is on the way for the first week of December!
A Warm Thanksgiving Week for Walt Disney World
If you gambled on warm sun for the holiday week, you won big. High pressure has been in control of Florida’s weather for the better part of the past week, and the temperatures have been on a steady climb ever since a cool start last Monday. With nonstop blue skies and a strong southern sun, it’s been an incredible farewell to November which felt more like October to lots of Floridians.
While no records were smashed, high temperatures did run above climate norms—a full five degrees at Orlando International Airport on Black Friday, with a high of 81—but very dry air still let the overnight lows fall to a normal 56 degrees.
And it’s been very dry! The United States Drought Monitor places some nearby areas of Central Florida in the Abnormally Dry category. Not much change is expected as the dry season deepens over the region and no particularly wet cold fronts are expected. Here’s what’s coming…
Chilly Changes on the Way
Huge winter storm? Not in Florida. While most of the United States will feel the effects of a massive storm system rolling through the early part of this week, Florida is going to stay mostly dry… but you’re still going to want to pack a heavy jacket.
The cold front that is slamming across the country this weekend will start shoving our high pressure out to the Atlantic by Sunday afternoon. Southwest winds running ahead of the front will actually warm temperatures up. Look for a high in the lower to mid 80s on Sunday, with mostly sunny skies and a strong southwest breeze, gusting in the afternoon.
The cold front’s trailing end drags through central Florida overnight on Sunday, bringing a moderate chance of rain showers. Right now it doesn’t look like much of an event, with just a 30% chance of late-night rain in the forecast. However, these events can sometimes pick up some steam over the Gulf of Mexico, so check your radar app if you’re out in the parks on Sunday evening just to be sure no downpours are headed our way!
Monday morning the wind will be switching to a cool northwest flow, and you’ll wake up to the high 50s for rope-drop, before a sunny day with a high in the upper 60s. Not too shabby for the day after a cold front, but just wait. The secondary low developing off the coast (which is bringing a winter storm to the northeast) will deepen the northwest flow. Cold air will take over Monday night, with a clear night dipping close to 40 degrees.
Tuesday morning, have your hat and coat! It’s going to be chilly on the Seven Seas Lagoon, and it’s going to stay cool all day long. Sunny, sure, but highs barely making it out of the 50s. Monday/Tuesday look like the coldest days of the season so far. Tuesday evening the temp will fall rapidly once again, with a low around 44 degrees.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday begin the slow march back towards normal mid-70s daytime temperatures. The wind will slowly switch from northwest to west by Wednesday, and calm completely by Thursday. With calm winds come sunny skies and clear nights. The overnight lows climb from 46 on Wednesday to 51 on Thursday, and highs from 67 to 71, with a balmy 74 expected on Friday.
Next Weekend’s Weather
The long-range forecast suggests some rain might make it back into the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, but not much. While there’s not another cold front on the horizon after Sunday night’s event, a fast-moving surface low might bring some moisture to Florida towards the end of the week. Temperatures should stick to the mid/high 70s for the day and high 50s overnight.
Cold Weather Changes at Walt Disney World
What should you expect when cold weather takes control at Walt Disney World? Generally, temperatures in the 50s can bring a cascade of changes to operations around the resort, particularly to recreation and pools.
To help you out with planning for potential closures (plus how to pack for a roller coaster of temperatures!) I have a new article here at the site on Packing and Planning for Winter Weather at Walt Disney World. And if you’re thinking: “wait, fifty degrees is hardly winter weather!” well, come to Florida. It’s very much winter for locals and Cast Members!
The good news is, if you’re heading down for the opening of Rise of the Resistance, the weather should be lovely. December 5 calls for cool temperatures most of the day, with sunshine warming the mid-day up to about 71, and a clear, calm night sinking into the 50s. Pretty nice weather for standing in a queue all day… just don’t forget the sunblock!