Christmas will be warm in South Florida — about 80 degrees

12/24/2013 3:19 PM

12/24/2013 7:24 PM

It will not be a day for hot cocoa beside the Christmas tree in South Florida. In fact, by the afternoon you might be able to take a dip in the ocean or a (heated) pool.

Broward and Miami-Dade can expect temperatures in the mid- to upper-60s at 7 a.m. Wednesday. But by midday, it could hit about 80 degrees.

It’s “highly unlikely” that South Florida will break the record high of 85 degrees in 1897 though we could be a tad higher than the normal high for Christmas, said Barry Baxter, National Weather Service meteorologist. However, the region did tie a record on Tuesday: the temperature hit 86 degrees at Miami International Airport, tying the 1990 record.

On Wednesday, temperatures may cool off a bit in the afternoon. There is a 30 percent chance of rain in Broward and 40 percent chance in Miami-Dade.

Consider the chilling highs forecast for other cities on Christmas: 29 degrees in New York City and Chicago, 23 degrees in Minneapolis and 21 degrees in Portland, Maine. Or try International Falls in Minnesota near the Canadian border:

“They are actually going to single digits — four to six —and also forecasting snow up in that area,” Baxter said.

While relatives up north will be huddled up indoors eating soup and casseroles, people in South Florida can continue to flock to the ice cream shops or beach in tank tops and flip flops.

The warm weather “definitely helps us — no question about it,” said Jerry Smith, general manager at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor in Dania Beach where they were scooping cones of peppermint candy and egg nog on Christmas Eve. “So far, we are a little busier than normal.”

At Wayside Market in Miami-Dade, customers on Tuesday trickled in for the strawberry shakes.

“Normally it is a real slow but today it seems like everybody is out,” said produce manager Victor Chapas.

The beachside pool at Pelican Grand hotel in Fort Lauderdale was slammed Christmas eve afternoon —and pool manager Michele Drinkwaterexpects more of the same on Christmas.

“They had to rip open all my towels,” Drinkwater said. “It’s insane. ... It’s been so hot. Where else can you have Christmas in a bikini? I mean come on! Only in South Florida.”

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