Record high temperatures may soon be set

ABC7 Good Morning Suncoast - Weekdays at 5am
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 6:56 AM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - High pressure remains anchored near Florida and will continue to direct our winds out of the west today.

Meanwhile, a developing strong winter storm will continue to develop over the northern and central West. The combination of the two systems will begin to force our high-pressure ridge east and tighten the pressure gradient over the state. The movement of the high will begin to twist our wind to an increasingly southerly direction tomorrow and the wind speeds will build with the tighter pressure field.

This will transport heat from the south over heated land and warm our atmosphere. At the same time, the expansion of the high-pressure ridge will center a dome of sinking air over the state, suppressing rain showers and keeping the skies mostly sunny. The combination of factors will cause temperatures to rise and threaten inland high temperature records by midweek.

By Thursday, areas like Zolfo Springs and Arcadia may see the high temperatures rise above 90 degrees. While ice storms and as much as a foot of snow hit the Great Lakes states and New England, the Suncoast will be toasty in inland locations.

Afternoon sea breezes will blow each afternoon and keep the coastal areas west of the interstate much cooler, as water temperatures hover around 70 degrees and will keep sea breezes refreshing. However, with a west wind, the irritating red tide aerosols will be driven closer to the coast.

Temperatures will stay above the normal by about 10 to 12 degrees straight into the weekend. Humidity will not be as high as we see in the summer, but when combined with the heat, will be uncomfortable for many in the afternoon hours.