Last week was really something.
The lowest temperatures of the season struck early in the week, with reported lows at Magic Kingdom and Lake Buena Vista of 34 and 33 degrees, respectively. There was a wind chill warning! And then, three days later, the high was in the 70s. When we talk about the Florida winter weather yo-yo, that’s definitely part of what we mean. It’s just so… extreme.
And so if I were to put this week’s weather in front of you as just highs and lows and rain chances, you’d probably think everyday was going to be much the same. That’s why I like to write these articles so much, though. This is actually quite a busy week in the atmosphere, with several ripples, ridges, and waves of low pressure moving through before one big storm looks set to position itself off the Atlantic coastline at the end of the week.
And these ripples and ridges are the nuance of our weather, the reason why one day Florida is 70 degrees and feels like a delightful warm hand is cupping your cheek and telling you everything will be all right, and the next day Florida is 70 degrees and you feel like you’ve woken up inside the fog that comes out of a dishwasher when you open it right after the cycle’s finished.
Every day this week the high temperature is predicted to sit between 68 and 73 degrees, and the low is predicted to be between 50 and 54 degrees, but each day is still going to feel a little different. This week, its forecast caught between days with a dry, cool north wind and days with a warm, humid south wind, looks bland on paper but is full of character under the surface.
Let’s dig in.
This Week’s Weather at Walt Disney World
The cold air mass that started out this weekend, filling in behind a weak cold front on Friday night, will stay in place through the rest of Sunday. And while it won’t be quite as warm as Saturday was, thanks to some incoming cirrus clouds ahead of the next pulse of low pressure, Sunday should still be a nice day.
With highs in the upper 60s during the day, and a quiet wind, Sunday is shaping up to be a comfortable theme park day, the kind where you can wear a hoodie all day and not feel like you’re melting in the sun and freezing in the shade. The clouds thicken overnight ahead of a low pressure system, and the low sinks through the 50s to a Monday morning daybreak of 50 degrees.
The little wave of low pressure slips through Monday without much energy, just some clouds and maybe some rain showers. As the clouds are chased away by building high pressure behind the front, Monday’s high reaches back up to 71 degrees, with a gentle breeze out of the north-northeast. Monday night, high pressure helps the dry air cool quickly into the 50s, for a Tuesday morning wake-up at 54 degrees.
The high pressure remains in place on Tuesday, giving us a cool, bright day with a gentle northeast wind. Tuesday’s high is 71 again, but it’ll probably feel warmer than Monday, with all that damp and cloud cover out of the way. Not much change for the evening, with a quick cool-down after sunset for an overnight low of 50 degrees.
Wednesday marks a change in the weather pattern, though at first it might just seem like another weak low pressure system. That’s exactly what will move into the area late Wednesday night, but afterwards several more pulses of energy will ripple through the Floridian atmosphere before a full-scale trough of low pressure affects the area over the weekend.
Wednesday starts out sunny, with a quick-moving wave heading in late in the day. Once again, this low pressure has trouble keeping its act together. We can expect a slight chance of rain showers, but nothing too serious.
Overall, Wednesday should still be a mostly sunny day, with a high around 73 degrees. The dry northeast wind switches to blow from the southwest in the afternoon as the front nears, bringing some moisture to the area. Then overnight, behind the front, the wind veers back to the north. Wednesday night sinks into the low 50s, so not much change there, but some clouds might stick around overnight.
Thursday tries to get sunny again, with a high near 70 degrees. The 60s on the way to that high might feel a bit on the chilly side as the wind will be blowing from the north, although big wind gusts aren’t anticipated. Thursday night there’s a chance of rain showers, with a low in the 50s, as another weak wave of low pressure begins to push through Central Florida.
Friday starts out cloudy, with a 50 percent chance of showers and an east southeast breeze bringing in some warm, humid air. We’ll have a high around 73 degrees for the day. In the evening the rain chance sticks around, along with the clouds and humidity, with a slightly warmer overnight low of 57 degrees.
Around Friday night we should be looking at the week’s first substantial low pressure system. Models are suggesting a trough which moves through the southeastern United States and sets up shop as an area of low pressure just off the Atlantic Coast late in the weekend, bringing us a much stronger chance of unsettled weather through the weekend — maybe even some thunderstorms. Temperatures should still run fairly mild despite the weather, with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s, as we’ll be dealing with warm, unstable air swooping up from the south around the low pressure center off our coast.
That puts Saturday at a 40 percent chance of rain with a high of 71, but be on your guard for changes to the weekend forecast that might bring rain chances up. It’s looking like at least a little bit of storminess is coming for our first weekend of February. How much, though, remains to be seen.