Cooler weather expected for South Florida but not cold enough for heavy jackets

01/02/2014 5:54 PM

01/02/2014 6:40 PM

The weather may cool off a bit, but don't break out the leather boots and jackets just yet. Might be better to reach for an umbrella, instead, to repel raindrops not sun rays.

The weather is expected dip a tad Friday with the low in the mid-60s and wetter by week’s end, according to the National Weather Service.

“We should still be pretty mild for this time of the year,” said David Ross, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “It’s a different story in other parts of the country.”

Across South Florida, residents and tourists were busy Thursday soaking up the sunshine.

At J.C. Bermudez Park in Doral workers spent their lunch break enjoying a meal on picnic tables, children on winter break rode bicycles and drove remote control cars and some people took advantage of the weather by jogging around the track.

“We haven’t even had a week of cold weather like we usually do,” said Natalia Valera. “But I’m not complaining.”

Brian Roberts, 12, was enjoying the last days before he has to go back to the school racing his remote control cars in the parking lot of the park.

“I probably wouldn’t be outside if it was cold,” he said. “We’re lucky.”

According to Ross, the average temperature in Miami-Dade was 75.1 degrees in December -- just shy of the record --which was 75.4, set in 1931. He said South Florida will likely get the tale end of the front moving through the Northeast that is expected to bring eight to 10 inches of snow by Friday morning in several states, including New York and Boston.

But South Florida will likely be wetter than cooler.

Forecasters predict a 20 percent chance of rain and temperatures are expected to reach the mid 80s at the highest and dip to the mid 60s at the lowest on Friday. The weather for the rest of the weekend will be in the 70s and 80s and rainy.

“We’ll notice a slight change in weather,” Ross said. “It will be breezier.”

And while South Florida has set some daily records for heat in December, in the middle part of the country and in the Northeast there have been several daily records broken for the coldest temperatures, according to Bob Oravec, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, MD. On Thursday, the coldest temperature was 47 degrees below zero.

“It has been a particularly cold winter so far in some areas, especially the middle of the country,” he said.

For some who come to South Florida from the North, including Lissette Zayas, it’s still hard to deal with holidays “in a sundress.”

“I miss the snow,” she said as she played with her son on the playground at Grapeland Park in Miami. “It’s a little too hot for me.”

For some visitors from Turkey, however, the sunshine was worth the long journey.

“We are taking advantage of it while we can,” said Feyza Ogras, as she sat with her brother outside of Dolphin Mall. “It’s perfect.”

Miami Herald staff writer Hannah Sampson contributed to this report.

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