Even though Spring officially starts in less than a week, our weather will be more reflective of winter over the next few days.
A strong cold front associated with heavy snow accumulations and blizzard-like conditions in the Northeast, is pushing through Southwest Florida today. Behind the front, expect a surge of chilly late-winter air to Southwest Florida. The cool air will keep temperatures struggling Wednesday, with highs only expected to reach the upper 60s, despite ample sunshine. Keep in mind, our average high is 80 degrees in mid-March! However, the real frigid temperatures don't arrive until Wednesday night where overnight lows in the 40s will be common. Isolated upper 30s are also not out of question in Charlotte County and in communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Be sure to layer up and bring in pets and sensitive plants as these will be some of the coldest temperatures we've seen all season and may challenge some low temperature records! The record low temperature for Thursday in Fort Myers is 43 degrees and 42 degrees in Naples. The last time we saw temperatures in the low 40s was in late January.
It will remain unseasonably cool Thursday with highs in the low 70s under sunny skies. If you're not a fan of the cold air, be patient - a gradual warming trend is in store. By Friday, our temperatures will start to warm up. Highs for St. Patrick's Day will be in the mid 70s. Then upper 70s to near 80 degree temperatures are expected this weekend. Morning lows will get out of the 40s, into the 50s this weekend through early next week. Next week will kick off the start of Spring and will start out on a warm note with highs in the low 80s under mostly sunny skies.