This Week in Walt Disney World Weather — March 8, 2020

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If it’s Sunday, it must be time for a ridge to build over Florida!

Our weather has been in an interesting (or not interesting, honestly) pattern over the past few weeks. We get a high pressure ridge which builds over the peninsula or the southeastern United States on Sunday. It slowly moves east over the Atlantic by Wednesday. Then a weak cold front pushes into it on Thursday, maybe bringing some storms, maybe not. Then on Friday it’s a bit chilly, on Saturday it’s cold and windy, and then the cycle starts anew on Sunday.

clouds over France, EPOT
A weak cold front produced some dark clouds and sprinkles of rain, but much else, this past week.

Well, if you’re a creature of habit who likes predictable things, I have great news for you. This week’s forecast looks much the same, although it’s missing one crucial element… the actual cold front.

This week, yet again, a high pressure ridge will build over the southeast and hang out for the first part of the week. A strong cold front in the continental US will stall before it can affect Florida, and nothing will really change until late Thursday — when a second cold front may drop across Florida and either bring us a little rain or no rain at all. After that… another high pressure ridge.

What does that mean practically speaking? A week with a lot of sunshine, a lot of mild and seasonable temperatures, and a week without a whole lot to talk about, meteorologically speaking.

 

Sunday’s map. The high dominating the east coast will drift east through Tuesday, but still manage Florida’s weather against the weak approaching cold front. Courtesy: NOAA

This Week’s Weather at Walt Disney World

Sunday continues with sunshine right into the evening, with a high of only about 70 degrees. With this steady east wind blowing in, product of the building high pressure ridge over the southeast, you might feel a bit chilled in the shade. Sunday night the wind eases after sunset and the temperatures dive into the 60s, for an overnight low of 58 degrees.

On Monday the wind will pick up again after daybreak, but overall a warmer day is expected, with a high around 76 degrees. The night will be much the same as Sunday’s, with a low of 58 and a slackening wind after sundown.

Tuesday, our high pressure ridge gets a little weaker thanks to a cold front over the Southeast US, but it’s not expected to make it as far south as Florida. Instead, we’ll see a high of 79 degrees with a much lighter breeze. In the afternoon a wind will pick up from the east-southeast as the high pressure ridge shifts, but that will die down overnight. Another low of 58 degrees for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Wednesday is calm and sunny with a high of 82 degrees. Wednesday night is partly cloudy with a low of 59 degrees. There is almost nothing to say about Wednesday to make this interesting.

Thursday is… the same as Wednesday. Your weather writer grows weary.

Friday is somehow more of the same, which tells you just how weak the models expect that trough of low pressure to be by Thursday night when it reaches Florida. It doesn’t even affect our forecast.

Saturday shouldn’t change much either, so expect more in the way of low 80s and sunshine. As high pressure from the Atlantic is expected to take over once again following the passage of that non-event cold front on Thursday, it looks like next weekend will be a warm exception to the previous few chilly ones we’ve been experiencing.

What could change about this forecast? There is a little uncertainty about the Thursday trough, which is to be expected when we are more than four days out. However, neither weather model used in this forecast anticipated rain making it farther south than north Florida. So while this forecast might be updated to bring in showers on Thursday night, at this point that just doesn’t look likely.

Fire Danger

Last week we talked about Central Florida’s fire season, and this weekend we have seen Red Flag Warnings posted for the area. This occurs when relative humidities are low and winds are gusting enough to pose a threat of wildfire outbreaks. With a warm and dry week ahead, it’s likely there will be some smoky days in our future. Take note of air quality forecasts if you have issues with particulates in the air, and don’t panic if you smell wood smoke while you’re out and about. That’s perfectly normal for the region in spring!

Winter 2019-2020 Wrap-Up

Last week the National Weather Service in Melbourne issued their 2019-2020 winter report. That’s correct, winter is over in Central Florida. Thank you for participating.

The conclusion, to no one’s surprise, was that this year’s winter was much warmer than normal for East Central Florida. “December, January, and February all had monthly average temperature departures that were at least a few to several degrees above normal.” All in all, this winter was a top five warmest for most reporting locations around Central Florida.

If you’re wondering if your trip made it into one of the rare cold spells, the coldest temperature of the season this year fell on January 22, when a few areas in the Disney area made it down to the freezing mark. Still, the winter will be remembered for some record warmth — including some warmest minimum temperatures ever recorded in Melbourne, on the coast.

Orlando’s average temperature for the season comes out to 66.8 degrees, which is 4.9 degrees above normal — making this winter the 5th warmest average temperature on record.

You can read the full report, including rainfall and other temperature site summaries, here.

Natalie Reinert

One of those Florida locals who can usually tell you if it's going to rain by the sun angle and the feel of the air, I'm an avid weather fan and a certified weather spotter for the National Weather Service's SkyWarn program. I tweet about Central Florida weather at @WeatheratWDW. As I work for Walt Disney World, please note all of my views are my own, and do not represent the views of The Walt Disney Company. All information shared in my posts comes from publicly available sources.

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