MiamiHerald.com

It's second-warmest winter in South Florida.

By Martin Merzer

March 10, 2008

 

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/450817.html

 

South Florida is experiencing its warmest winter since 1982.

The National Weather Service reported Monday that the past three months represent the second-warmest winter on record in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

''It was an unusually warm winter -- December, January and February -- at nearly all mainland South Florida locations,'' said Rusty Pfost, who runs the weather service's local office.

Most recently, February's average temperatures ranged from three to six degrees above normal.

According to other statistics gathered by Pfost and his meteorologists:

 At Miami International Airport, the three-month average temperature of 73.2 degrees made it the warmest winter since 1931-32, when the average was 73.4 degrees.

Last month's average temperature of 74.28 degrees made it the third-warmest February, putting it in third place behind February 1959 at 74.9 degrees and February 1982 at 74.34 degrees.

Records in Miami go back to 1895.

 At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the three-month average temperature of 72.8 degrees also made it the warmest winter since 1931-32, when the average was 73.3 degrees.

Last month's average of 73.8 degrees also made it the third-warmest February, bested only by February 1959 at 75.1 degrees and February 1939 at 74.3 degrees.

Records in Fort Lauderdale go back to 1912.

Pfost attributed the warmth to atmospheric patterns that delivered only a few, relatively weak cold fronts.

He said rainfall was above normal in most populated areas, though water managers said it did not rain nearly enough to relieve the region's long-term drought.