Winter’s last sigh?

Floridan’s keep an especially close eye on the flag during the dry season in eager anticipation for it to unfurl its stars and strips to the south.

It’s the bellwether that a beloved cold front has arrived from the north, bringing with it cooler and remarkably crisp air.
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To be sure, there will be other cold fronts passing through before the summer “humidity curtain” drops.

But this may be last “cold” one.

And by April standards, it was a cold one. One could even argue “perfect.” Weather anywhere doesn’t get much better than it’s been here in south Florida the past two days.

Yesterday’s day-time high of 64º F recorded at Naples Airport was the coldest such reading this late in April going back to at least the 1940s. By comparison, the night-time low was just a nice chill, not a record-breaker.
But it did drop down into the low 50s. That’s the first such dip below the 60º F mark since the start of April.

How frequent are April nights that dip below the 50º mark?

Consider those few and far between: we’ve only had 2 of them since 2000.

What’s Naples’ coldest April on record?

That would be back in 1971. Two nights dropped below 40º F. That seems improbable. Consider that all winter this year we’ve only had two such nights. And again the same last winter.

But 1971 was a cold winter for Florida: around a dozen and a half nights dipped below the 40º mark, including the earliest coldest night on record in Naples: a bone chilling 31º on November 25, 1970.

I’ll have to check into my notes on that one to find out more.

Postscript:

The two graphs may appear intimidating at first, but give them a chance. They are essentially high-octane historical calendars which report the lowest (coldest) day and night time temperatures at Naples Airport, from 1940 to present.

The bigger and bluer the dots, the colder the temperature. The biggest dots fall within December to February range. By April, the cold has generally passes us by.

I call them “poor man’s” data dumps because it shows you “all the data” at a glance, and you don’t have to be a statistician to get at its essence and pinpoint some chart toppers.

The descriptor “poor man’s” comes via my brother, who once prepared a platter — half of peeled shrimp and the other half of sliced cucumber — the latter of which, by more or less having the same texture and taste as shrimp, stretched the serving size by two fold.

He called that “poor man’s” shrimp.

If you go heavy on the horseradish, it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two.

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