So just how cool was Monday’s solar eclipse in South Florida? Try three degrees cooler.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists recorded the drop on a sizzling afternoon from the roof of their Virginia Key labs across from the Miami Seaquarium over the course of about an hour. Gauges in Westchester and Boynton Beach recorded a similar decrease.
While that’s about the same chill as might occur during a dense cloud cover, Monday’s drop occurred as the passing moon gave the sun an eerie washed-out feel, like someone swapped out a 100 watt bulb for a 40.
“There was certainly enough of the blocking of the sun’s energy or the sun’s rays to cause it to drop briefly,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Molleda.
Between 2 and 3 p.m. Monday, NOAA meteorologist Neal Dorst recorded the Virginia Key temps fall from just below 89 degrees to just above 86. In places where total darkness descends during an eclipse, and where the difference between day and night temperatures are more dramatic like the desert, the thermometer can plunge by as much as 20 degrees, according to NASA.
“It didn’t get dark, certainly, but if you were out there for a while you could see the light change,” Molleda said. “As soon as the moon started moving away, the moon shadow, then the temperature started to come back up.”
Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich