Miami-Dade County

The first cold front of the year is coming — expect temps to dip into the 40s

Sunrise over Miami Beach on New Year's Day

Watch as the sun rises over Miami Beach on New Year's Day 2018.
Up Next
Watch as the sun rises over Miami Beach on New Year's Day 2018.

If your holiday shopping didn’t include a few jackets and sweaters, you might want to stock up as the first week of the new year is bringing rain and cold temperatures.

While the weather won’t drop into the single digits or bring the frigid cold that people have experienced in the Northeast and Midwest, temperatures in South Florida are expected to drop to the 40s, with highs in the 60s, starting Wednesday night.

Things will warm up a bit by the weekend with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s on Friday and Saturday nights.

Starting Monday night into Tuesday, there’s an increased chance of showers in South Florida.

A green flag waves at a lifeguard tower in North Beach advising swimmers of calm conditions on Monday, New Year’s Day 2018. Pedro Portal

“We’ve got a funnel system that will be coming through the area,” said Chris Fisher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “The next couple of days, we’re going to have some showers in the forecast.”

When the rain moves out, in the middle of the week, temperatures will start to drop.

“Behind that is when the cold air will really start moving in Wednesday night,” Fisher said.

The NWS said the cold weather in South Florida isn’t that uncommon and has historically happened in January and February.

Steven Ippoliti, another meteorologist with the NWS, also said that these systems usually move quickly into and out of the region. He cautioned that the temperatures on Friday morning could be a little colder than what’s forecast but that things will warm up by the end of the weekend.

The forecast comes just days after Tampa and parts of the Florida Panhandle prepared for the slightest chance of snow falling in those areas as the new year approached. Their concerns were well-placed, though, as earlier last month, parts of Escambia County saw up to two inches of snow due to Winter Storm Benji.

And the cold start to the new year comes with confirmation from the National Weather Service that 2017 missed breaking the record for warmest year in the Miami area by 0.1 degrees. The area had average daily temperatures of 79.1 degrees, which tied the 2015 record. Before the latest cold weather, the average daily temperature for 2017 was around 79.2 degrees.

On Tuesday, a day after this story posted, the National Weather Service reported 2017 in fact tied the 2015 record. The Service initially used daily temperatures averages, rather than monthly figures used to calculate year-end records.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3