Weather

Think South Florida’s winter was warmer than usual? You’re right.

South Florida experienced record heat from December through February, according to the National Weather Service.
South Florida experienced record heat from December through February, according to the National Weather Service. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

If you are one of those people who said this was the warmest winter ever in South Florida — you weren’t imagining things.

The average temperature in Miami for December, January and February was 74. 2 degrees, breaking the record of 73.4, set in 1931-1932. In Fort Lauderdale, the average was 73.3, breaking the record of 72.9, set in 2007-2008.

“The people who said we didn't get much winter weather were quite accurate,” said Stephen Konarik, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

The extreme heat can be blamed on high pressure in the Southeastern United States that blocked cold fronts from hitting South Florida, Konarik said.

The averages, released Wednesday, account for the meteorological winter — which runs from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, unlike the astronomical winter, which runs from Dec. 21 to March 20.

Miami broke two other records this year. First, there were 22 days in the three-month stretch that went above 85 degrees. The longest previous stretch was 13 days, which happened in 1989-1990.

And for the first time in recorded history — records go back to 1895 — there wasn’t one day between December and February that the temperature dropped below 50 degrees.

“There were a few days that had below-normal temperatures, but they were far outweighed by the number of days with above-normal temperatures,” Konarik said.

As for March, it’s not looking like South Florida is going to see much relief.

“We will probably see a lot of the same,” Konarik said.

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