As the northeast freezes, South Florida sizzles; weekend forecast
Friday's temperatures across the continental United States may have had some South Floridians thinking "are we even in the same country?"
It's also a reminder why so many people move to Florida and revel in the fact that the Sunshine State features the lone strip of warmer-indicating yellow, orange and even red on the weather map while the rest of the country is coated in the frigid-signifying blues, grays, purple and white.
The big freeze is about to take the Great Lakes and the NE coast with temperatures plummeting to the lowest in years in the next 2 days.
In the meanwhile "Planet Florida" today records its 4th consecutive 90F (Immokalee) and tomorrow also south of Miami (Homestead) could hit 90F. pic.twitter.com/roySfvyvZI
— Extreme Temperatures Around The World (@extremetemps) February 2, 2023
In Palm Beach County, Friday's temperatures were expected to reach 84, which is slightly higher than normal for this time of year. That's nearly a 100-degree disparity between South Florida and other places in the United States.
The Northeast and New England: Wind chill warnings
For the north, a brutal blast of arctic wind and cold is sweeping across the region, causing school closings and emergency plans. Those gusty wind chills will create feels-like temperatures below zero. Frostbite and hypothermia are real possibilities for those who aren't careful.
Those conditions have put more than 15 million people under wind chill warnings or advisories. Wind chill indicates how cold the air feels — the human body emits heat, but as wind hits the body, a person will shed that layer, leaving them exposed to cold. The faster the wind, the faster the body has to work to "re-layer" the loss of heat.
Warnings are issued when conditions are expected to feel as cold as minus 25.
The most dangerous conditions for those in the Northeast and Midwest will be continue this morning.
Some of the lowest of the low on Friday morning included:
Albany, N.Y.: 8
Augusta, Maine: 3
Des Moines: 1
Montpelier, Vt.: 1
Pierre, S.D.: 4
Rochester, N.Y.: 4
St. Paul, Minn.: minus 8
Syracuse, N.Y.: 1
The South: Still reeling from dangerous ice storms
Across the Plains and Southeast United States, many cities are dealing with power outages after a series of ice storms downed tree limbs that snapped electrical lines.
In Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, temperatures are rising, but the dangerous black ice on the roads is still creating havoc.
In some Texas cities, power outages have closed schools all week.
As of this morning, more than 240,000 customers were without power, down from 430,000 on Thursday, according to PowerOutage.us.
In Austin, Texas, patience was tested when nearly 123,000 customers were without power after the first day. Damage was worse than originally calculate so there was no timetable for restoring power to many homes.
Meanwhile, in sunny South Florida: The heat is on
The third day of February will feel a lot more like the third day in May or June with temperatures soaring to the mid 80s in most South Florida cities.
In West Palm Beach, temperatures were expected to be just a bit shy of the record of 86 (set in 1972 and 1985), but significantly higher than the 75.6 average.
Temperatures will drop into the 70s for the rest of the weekend.
Weekend forecast: Will it be a total washout?
A front arrives and will stall, but it is a weak one so it will bring lots of clouds and scattered showers. It will be windy and create some hazardous boating conditions.
A day at the beach or golf course isn't totally out of the question as rain chances hover around 50 percent most of the day.
On Sunday, rain chances increase to 60 and 70 percent most of the day.
Another weak front arrives Monday that will clear out the clouds and lingering rain.
Palm Beach County weekend forecast
Saturday: High 72, Low 70: Windy. A potential steady rain in the morning with showers continuing in the afternoon.
Sunday: High 76, Low 67: Thunderstorms possible, mainly in the afternoon with scattered storms in the evening.
James Coleman is a journalist at the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at email@example.com. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Weather disparity: Northeast freezes while Florida temperatures surge