Was it only last weekend we were pulling on sweaters and turning on the heat overnight? Central Florida’s signature yo-yo winter weather is fully in effect. From frost warnings just north of Walt Disney World early in the week, to RunDisney emails warning about excessive temperatures for the Walt Disney World Marathon, it’s been a pretty active weather pattern around here lately!
The good news is that this week we are settling into a simple pattern that is unaffected by all the craziness going on up in the rest of the U.S. It’s been very rocky for the midwest and Deep South over the past few days, with tornado outbreaks, flooding, and snow.
We’ve talked about how in winter, the jet stream that pushes cold fronts through the North American continent has the potential to strongly affect Florida’s weather. So usually, when the Gulf states are experiencing severe weather, we know something similar is on the way.
Not this time, however. The ocean and the Gulf still have a lot to say about what goes down in Florida, meteorologically speaking, and the Atlantic has spoken. A strong ridge of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean is stopping that cold front in its tracks before it reaches the Florida peninsula. As a result, instead of getting severe storms before a switch to northern wind and cold, dry air, we’re getting a strong southeast flow circulating around that high pressure ridge.
The southeast flow brings Central Florida a steady current of warm, moist air directly from the Bahamas and the Gulf Stream. As the high pressure ridge remains in control of our weather for most of the week, we’ll continue to feel the effects of all this tropical air.
In other words: pack your swimsuit. This is the kind of January weather that causes people to put their house on the market the minute they get home from vacation.
Warmth and humidity dominates the forecast for the next week, right through the beginning of the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. With just a weak frontal boundary expected to affect our weather late in the week, the next seven to ten days look positively balmy. Bring extra sunscreen.
This Week in Walt Disney World Weather
For the rest of Sunday, expect sun and passing clouds. The southeast breeze combined with the very warm inland temperatures means a slight chance of afternoon showers, caused by the same sea breeze/land heat interaction which causes our summer storms. The high of 85 degrees will give way to a pretty mild night, so don’t bother taking a jacket out with you this evening! With an overnight low of just 66, the same temperature a lot of Florida businesses set their air conditioning at, things are going to stay pretty comfortable.
Fog might start the day on Monday, but once it clears out we’ll have a mostly sunny day. Once again, warm and humid air is in control. The daytime high will be around 85 degrees, the overnight low just a little cooler at 62.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are all pretty much identical in the forecast. Look for sunny to partly cloudy days, with highs around 80 to 82 degrees each afternoon. Overnight, expect clear to partly cloudy skies, with lows reaching down to about 62-64 degrees. Winds will generally be light and out of the south or southeast.
On Thursday night, the wind shifts to the east-northeast, and then east on Friday. This brings Friday’s temperature down just a little, with a high near 78 degrees, and a twenty percent chance of rain showers. Friday night continues this onshore wind trend, and the low will be around 62 with a slight chance of passing showers.
Saturday, the holiday weekend begins with a 30% chance of showers on an overall warm and pleasant day. The high will be around 78 degrees, with partly cloudy skies. The day begins with a southeast wind, but that direction switches to the southwest by afternoon.
Long-term models show a dip in temperature and an uptick in rain for Sunday through Tuesday next week. Is a cold front going to show up midway through the holiday? It’s too soon to tell for sure, so check in with @weatheratwdw midweek for updated advice on the weekend.
How do you feel about sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s for January? Personally, I love the break from those streaks of cold weather we get in Central Florida. I enjoy the fluffy cumulus clouds that the humidity brings rather than those big, empty blue skies we get after cold fronts. But everyone knows I love clouds. What about you? Which do you prefer for your winter vacation: cold, clear days or sunny, summer-like ones?