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bubba

So. FL. Micro climate created by proximity to GulfStream

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bubba

The furthest eastern point in the state of Florida is located at Palm Beach Shores, Florida (26.7/80.0356) while Palm Beach, Florida (26.7/80.0364) is nearby. Presently, the Gulfstream/Florida Current is approximately 5-10 miles of from PB and likely closer to 5 miles based upon Miami- So. Fl. NWS Marine Zone forecast. The postulate is that land closer to the Gulfstream/Florida Current experiences substantially higher winter minimum temperatures.

A relatively new WeatherStation has been located in PB near the old Blossom property. It is KFLPALMB357 (hereinafter “PB Station”) and is located on the intracoastal side rather than the ocean side. A winter climate comparison between this station and the numbers at PBIA (airport) should provide an interesting test of the existence of the Gulfstream/Florida Current micro-climate theory.

To that end:

PBIA                          PB Station

12/21                         12/21

MMM.                          MMM   
85/72.22/51F            83.9/74.7/55.7F

1/22 to date            1/22 to date 

MMM                       MMM

83/70.4/55F             81.3/73.1/60.9F

Both the minimum temperatures (5-6F) together with the median temperatures (2-3F) are substantially higher at the PB station when compared to PBIA.

The same anomaly can be witnessed at locations substantially further south in the Florida Peninsula, where the GulfStream/Florida Current is further from land. Miami Beach weather station KFLMIAMI89 (hereinafter “MB”) compared to the PB Station reports the following:

MB                            PB Station 

12/21                         12/21

MMM                        MMM 

86/75.1/56.4F         83.9/74.7/55.7F

1/22 to date            1/22 to date 

84.8/73/59.1F         81.3/73.1/60.9F

The longitude of MB is 80.019 while the longitude of PB/PB Shores is approximately 80.036. The latitude of MB is 25.76 while PB/PB Shores is 26.78. This constitutes almost a full degree of latitude but the minimum and median temperatures are almost identical.

 

 

 

Edited by bubba
Corrupted dictation device
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bubba

MB longitude is 80.13…

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sonoranfans

I think this will depend on a breeze coming off the ocean(carrying heat from the gulf stream).  Coming off the land, it probably wont help much.   Tonight and tomorrow night will be interesting to see what the difference in lows is.  As the temp difference between the air and landmass or ocean increases, the effect might be muted a bit in absence of a favorable onshore breeze.

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bubba

Sonoranfans aptly pointed out on Friday January 28, 2022 that the next several days would be a legitimate test for the So. Fl. Micro-climate GulfStream/Florida Current theory posited by the undersigned on January 14, 2022. The Arctic incursion appeared to travel more on the easterly side of the state on January 30, 2022 and seemingly effect the west side of the state more prominently on January 31, 2022. In south Florida, the wind blew almost continuously from the north/Northwest and one would assume that this would limit the effect of the Gulfstream/Florida Current in the Palm Beach area because the wind would be traveling primarily over land (except for Lake Okeechobe). I should also point out that the PB Station (KFLPALMB357) is located much closer to the ocean than any other weather stations in Palm Beach. I incorrectly stated that the station was located on the intracoastal side rather than the ocean side on January 14, 2022.

The results were interesting:

PBIA                  PB Station 

1/22                  1/22

MMM                 MMM

83/37/66.15F     81.3/41.1/68.7F

The minimum at the PB Station was 4.1F higher than PBIA on January 30, 2022. The high temperature at PBIA was 60F and the PB Station registered 59.4F.

The minimum temperature at the PB Station on January 31, 2022 was 6.8F higher than the low at PBIA (48.8 v 42F). The high temperature at the PB Station Was 67°F and the PBIA high was 68F.

How did the PB Station microclimate compare to the Miami Beach (MB) location?

MB                      PB Station

1/22                      1/22

MMM                     MMM

84.8/42.6/69.0F      81.3/41.1/68.7F

On the two coldest days (1/30/22 and 1/31/22) the two stations compared:

MB                           PB Station

63.5/42.6F               59.4/41.1F

70.2/50.6F                67/48.8F

Notwithstanding the roughly 60 miles north of the PB Station compared to the MB Station, the minimum temperatures are virtually identical and the monthly median differs by only.3F (68.7/69.0F). Even though the wind was primarily from the N/NW for both stations, the proximity to the GS/FC at the PB Station must provide the explanation.

A picture is worth 1000 words:

1/30/22

E093E031-0558-48DA-A7AC-941FB4150F3D.thumb.jpeg.eba0a5dbcf68ee607bc19e996744821f.jpeg

1/31/22D32909C1-64CA-4D87-88B7-0F88A43C9E73.thumb.jpeg.037cb9a5a9a85966e83ca1df0bdbcab5.jpeg

You can look closely at these two pictures taken a day apart and distinguish the deep blue water of the stream and its warmth virtually lapping the shore. 77F ocean does have a major effect on minimum temperatures in particular during arctic incursions even when the wind blows only N/NW.

One further caveat comes from the lip of the lake near Pahokee, Florida. No choppers whatsoever were necessary to protect the extremely temperature sensitive corn crop and that is not the case throughout the state.

 

 

 

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chinandega81

I don't see how the Gulf Stream could affect a land breeze blowing offshore so that it would moderate temps in SE FL. There are other possible explanations for a temperature difference inland vs. the coast and north to south. This could be due to cold air traveling over more urbanized environments, the intracoastal's depth/width at different locations, local elevation, etc. 

The Gulf Stream certainly affects SE Florida dramatically, but that is when the wind travels over it and then reaches us on land. If we have an offshore wind, there doesn't seem to be any local effect. I was at the beach on the colder of the two weekend days. It was colder there than inland due to the openess of the beach. and because of the cooler nearshore and inland waters that had cooled off. It was about 2 or 3 degrees warmer inland that day. The ocean water was cool, but warmer than the air. If the wind had been blowing off the water, the air would have been warmer. Even readings in Bimini were similar to SE FL readings at that time on that day and they are on the other side of the Gulf Stream.

Maybe I misunderstood you, but if I didn't, how do you explain the Gulf Stream moderating SE FL temps with an offshore wind?

I attribute the temperature warming once it arrives on the SE Coast due to a higher sun angle, moderation of cold air as it travels south, the Everglades wetlands moderating it, Lake O, the urbanization of the area, local microclimates due to man made water features, Biscayne Bay (for islands). As to why PB is colder than MB, it is farthur north and as you pass PB going north along the coast, the temps continue to cool. 

If the entire FL SE coast was just land with no bays right up to the water and totally undeveloped, I think with an offshore wind the temps would be the same from PB to MB in that situation.

 

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Xenon
9 minutes ago, chinandega81 said:

I attribute the temperature warming once it arrives on the SE Coast due to a higher sun angle, moderation of cold air as it travels south, the Everglades wetlands moderating it, Lake O, the urbanization of the area, local microclimates due to man made water features, Biscayne Bay (for islands). As to why PB is colder than MB, it is farthur north and as you pass PB going north along the coast, the temps continue to cool. 

But that doesn't explain why SE FL is consistently significantly warmer than SW FL at the same latitude. Pine Island and Sanibel are warm for the west coast but can't compete with the east coast barrier islands (especially in a long duration cold event) despite being surrounded by water to the north/northwest. 

I would guess that there is a always a degree of "mixing" happening that taps into the Gulf Stream warmth, especially when the wind is due north. 

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RedRabbit
24 minutes ago, chinandega81 said:

Maybe I misunderstood you, but if I didn't, how do you explain the Gulf Stream moderating SE FL temps with an offshore wind?

I was wondering about this too.

1 minute ago, Xenon said:

But that doesn't explain why SE FL is consistently significantly warmer than SW FL at the same latitude. Pine Island and Sanibel are warm for the west coast but can't compete with the east coast barrier islands (especially in a long duration cold event) despite being surrounded by water to the north/northwest. 

I would guess that there is a always a degree of "mixing" happening that taps into the Gulf Stream warmth, especially when the wind is due north. 

For this last freeze SW Florida performed as well as SE Florida. I’d have to double check, but I think Useppa Island had the highest low temp I could find in the state. 

Overall though, I think a significant factor is the gulf is so shallow it is able to cool much easier than the Atlantic. Being surrounded by cold water vs warm water is going to make a difference. 

On that note, one climate I’ve wondered about is that of Key Biscayne. I read Miami Beach’s water in January is still in the upper 70s. If Biscayne Bay is a similar temperature it should make a big difference for Kay Biscayne. There’s a lot more distance between Key Biscayne and the mainland than Miami Beach and the mainland so it would make sense if Key Biscayne were the warmer location.

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chinandega81
6 minutes ago, Xenon said:

But that doesn't explain why SE FL is consistently significantly warmer than SW FL at the same latitude. Pine Island and Sanibel are warm for the west coast but can't compete with the east coast barrier islands (especially in a long duration cold event) despite being surrounded by water to the north/northwest. 

I would guess that there is a always a degree of "mixing" happening that taps into the Gulf Stream warmth, especially when the wind is due north. 

Cold air masses generally come from the North or northwest and therefore hit SW FL first ,so they have less time to moderate. That's why the west coast of FL is colder in general in the winter. Also, it isn't as densly populated as SE FL.  Less Urban Heat Island in comparison. In addition, they don't have a buffer zone of the Everglades with standing water, they have cold air draining off of dry land coming straight in from the north.  Furthermore, the waters cool off moreso in the Gulf and nearshore waters compared to the East Coast (Biscayne Bay) in the winter for the previous mentioned reasons. 

I´m sure there is mixing above the Gulf Stream, but that doesn't somehow backtrack and throw milder air against the windflow into SE FL.  We could only be so lucky! When the wind is due north, there isn't a modified component in SE FL. Out over the Gulf Stream there are clouds and showers a lot of the time in those situations.

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chinandega81

To be clear, SE FL is warmer in winter because of the Gulf Stream for sure, but only once the winds go NE or E or SE. That keeps lows quite mild, and that warmth dissipates by the time it gets to the west coast in the dark of night most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't even get far inland in SE FL. But overall it does help to modify arctic airmasses greatly. But we are cold in the meantime as are our equivelent locations on the west FL Coast. Sometimes the Keys even have a drainage flow from the peninsula after the SE coast has warmed up with a NE wind off the water. It can still be cold in the lower Keys as they get air off the peninsula and chill FL Bay. 

In this last event there were times Miami had readings colder than parts of Tampa Bay, Ft Myers, Naples, etc because they had influence off the Gulf and we just had the cold land breeze coming straight down the east side of the peninsula, east around Lake O and no Everglades influence either. Just cold air over what had already become cold concrete in our urban heat island megalopolis.

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bubba

The previously provided information is prima facie evidence of the dramatic effect of the Gulfstream /Florida Current on minimum temperatures during arctic incursions. The PBIA Station is less than 5 miles due West from the PB Station. However, the PB Station registered minimum temperatures 4.1F and 6.8F degrees higher than the airport at the same latitude (41.1/37 and 48.8/42F). This can only be explained by the proximity to the Gulfstream/Florida current, which is a 45 mile river between south Florida and the Bahamas with constant temperatures 85-90F, that flows not less than 1700 times stronger than the Mississippi River. That is a powerful force that is more than capable of mixing things up and affecting minimum temperatures notwithstanding precise wind conditions.

Beyond the direct comparison of PBIA and the PB Stations, The following information further substantiates this conclusion:

PB Station  26.67N 80.04W. OceanT app/distanceGS

41.1F.          77F.           5-7 miles E. (NOAA)

48.8F.          76.6F.        5-7 miles E.

VB Station.  27.62N 80.35W OceanT.  D/GS

35.4F.           65.7F.       20 plus miles E.

37.0F.           63.9F.        20 plus miles E.

Freeport,BA. 26.53N 78.61W OceanT D/GS

51.3F.          76.6F.         10-15 miles W

48.2F.           77.2F.        10-15 miles W

MB Station 25.76N. 80.13W OceanT   D/GS

42.6F.           76.5F.         14 miles E.

50.6F.           76.5F.         14 miles E.

The ocean temperatures were provided by seatemperature.com. The Vero Beach location is virtually on the ocean and can be found at: 737 GABE-KELVEROB371. The Freeport Bahamas location can be found at: IFREEP6. The approximate distances from the Gulfstream/Florida Current by NOAA.

The most compelling evidence supporting the conclusion can be seen by the juxtaposition of the VB Station (N by 60 miles of PB Station/similar to MB) and the Freeport, Bahamas station, which is 10 to 15 miles W of the Gulf Stream. Obviously, the Gulfstream is capable of mixing it up notwithstanding the exact direction of the wind.It substantially increases minimum temperatures during arctic incursions.

 

 

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ChristianStAug

I found these comparison readings very interesting!

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chinandega81

I understand how the Gulfstream affects the Bahamas and Freeport compared to Palm Beach in cold events, but just comparing the WPB airport to the PB barrier island and saying it is warmer because of the Gulf Stream doesn't make sense, since the Gulf Stream doesn't separate those two locations.

There are other factors involved that keep the immediate coastline warmer in cold events than other locations slightly inland at the same latitude. The beaches of SE FL are the most urbanized areas and cold air has to travel over the greatest urban expanse to arrive there, so it is more modified for that reason. Additionally, it crosses bays and the intracoastal to make it there, further moderating temps at the coast.

I would like to understand how you think the Gulf Stream can affect locations upwind, on the SE FL Coast, after a cold frontal passage. I understand down wind into the Bahamas being warmer, but not the reverse. There are other variables that keep the immediate coastline warmer in cold, offshore flows. The Gulf Stream benefits the coastline first once the winds have shifted around to the NNE and the beaches are moderated first and quite dramatically. But prior to that, the only difference is from the other factors mentioned. This is quite apparent in South Miami Dade towards Homestead where it is undeveloped inland and at the coast. It is similarly cold near the Biscayne Bay coastline around Black Point Marina and Turkey Point as it is further west. It warms a few degrees when you get to the develped area near the turnpike and then cools beyond that going back to the Redlands. The differences are minimal though with a N or NW wind or an absence of a ocean breeze. All of these observations can be made by looking at temperatures on weather underground during these cold spells.

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bubba

The Gulfstream is not a static rigid force “out there”that your caveat suggests. It is a 45 mile river in the ocean between south Florida and the Bahamas, which reaches its nearest point to land in the Palm Beach area and veers west commencing past Singer Island to the north and the Keys to the south. It is a force of water maintaining a constant temperature year-round of 85 to 90° F, which flows at least 1700 times stronger than the Mississippi River. Perhaps you have to personally cross this ocean river by boat to obtain a true understanding of its significance (which I have done many times).

In the paradigm presented, I have only used water temperature and distance as applicable variants. I have no doubt that it’s force of warmth and sphere of influence goes high in the atmosphere and extends through the barrier islands to which it is closest. This applies irrespective of wind direction.

As it relates to urbanization to substantiate the difference between PBIA and the PB Station, this is not applicable. The area surrounding PBIA is far more urban than the PB Station, where there is no urban activity. Cold air‘s travel over the Intracoastal (no bays or other water) cannot account for the 4 to 7°F bump in minimum temperature.

The most compelling data proving the existence of the micro-climate can be seen in the juxtaposition of the minimum temperatures between the PB Station (41.1/48.8F), the MB Station 60 miles to the south (42.6/50.6F) and the Vero Beach Station 60 miles north of the PB Station (35.4/37.0F). The corresponding ocean water temperatures speak volumes: PB Station (77/76.6F);MB Station (76.5/76.5F) and VB Station (65.7/63.9).

Get in a boat and travel through the GulfStream!

 

 

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chinandega81
6 hours ago, bubba said:

The Gulfstream is not a static rigid force “out there”that your caveat suggests. It is a 45 mile river in the ocean between south Florida and the Bahamas, which reaches its nearest point to land in the Palm Beach area and veers west commencing past Singer Island to the north and the Keys to the south. It is a force of water maintaining a constant temperature year-round of 85 to 90° F, which flows at least 1700 times stronger than the Mississippi River. Perhaps you have to personally cross this ocean river by boat to obtain a true understanding of its significance (which I have done many times).

In the paradigm presented, I have only used water temperature and distance as applicable variants. I have no doubt that it’s force of warmth and sphere of influence goes high in the atmosphere and extends through the barrier islands to which it is closest. This applies irrespective of wind direction.

As it relates to urbanization to substantiate the difference between PBIA and the PB Station, this is not applicable. The area surrounding PBIA is far more urban than the PB Station, where there is no urban activity. Cold air‘s travel over the Intracoastal (no bays or other water) cannot account for the 4 to 7°F bump in minimum temperature.

The most compelling data proving the existence of the micro-climate can be seen in the juxtaposition of the minimum temperatures between the PB Station (41.1/48.8F), the MB Station 60 miles to the south (42.6/50.6F) and the Vero Beach Station 60 miles north of the PB Station (35.4/37.0F). The corresponding ocean water temperatures speak volumes: PB Station (77/76.6F);MB Station (76.5/76.5F) and VB Station (65.7/63.9).

Get in a boat and travel through the GulfStream!

 

 

I haven't seen any data to support the GS is 85-90 year round. In the Summer and Fall I have seen that, but not in the Spring or Winter, at least not off the SE FL Coast. Current temps I see online show it's actually closer to 80. But as you said, let's assume it's approximate 45 miles wide...that is extremely small in comparison to the atmosphere and different weather features such as the jet stream and cold fronts. It certainly has a local effect at or down wind, but even in this past cold event, Bimini was only a few degrees warmer than Miami in the day.

"Force of warmth" influencing high in the atmosphere doesn't translate to heat spreading upwind towards the coastline of FL during a strong cold wind from the north.  The GS certainly affects weather over and near it at those times, but not upwind in a cold offshore event for SE FL.  How do you explain this warmth penetrating upwind? At what level? When it comes down, it would be cooled.  It just doesn't add up and there is no evidence of that mechanism taking place under these circumstances. Simply saying it's warmer at the coast as evidence of this does not is not backed up by the facts.

PB Airport may be urban however so are the barrier islands as well as all the land between the two locations. The cold winds travel all that dense urban development and continue to the coast where urbanization continues and is maximized. The waterway of the bays and intracoastal only help. Of course they make a difference, we have seen numerous posters on here mention how lakes, bays, rivers, etc create amazing microclimates. South Florida waterways have the same effect. This is seen throughout most of FL inland vs coastal areas and usually correlates toa 4 to 7 degree bump you mentioned.

I have no doubt crossing the GS at sea level is a noteable experience. I just don't see any facts that show it somehow transfers heat to the mainland when we have a cold offshore wind blowing. There are other more plausible reasons as to why the beaches are slightly warmer in SE FL vs inland areas, this is also observed in many other coastal areas and places throughout the state near waterways.

If you have pics of the GS when you crossed it I would love to see them!

 

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bubba

If not the warmth generated by the Gulfstream, how do you explain the anomaly in minimum temperatures between the three locations on the barrier islands 60 miles apart (VB, PB and MB)? If not the warmth of the Gulfstream, how do you explain the 10 degree F difference in ocean temperature between VB and PB? If not warmth generated by the Gulfstream, how do you explain ocean temperature at PB being equal to or greater than MB notwithstanding the fact that MB is 60 miles north? If not for the Gulfstream, how do you explain the minor difference in minimum temperatures between PB and MB during the arctic incursion? if not the Gulfstream, how do you explain the 4-7 degree F difference between PBIA and PB when both Stations are equal in latitude and urbanization is far greater at PBIA and none exists at PB? Do you contend that the Intracoastal is responsible for the bump in temperature?

Additionally, what do you postulate as the reason for SE Florida being substantially warmer during the winter months when compared to locations of equal latitude on the SW coast of Florida? Granted certain locations in this arctic incursion may have had higher minimum temperatures on the SW coast because of the initial direction of the cold air in this cold front. However, this is not the normal course of cold fronts in Florida and the average median temperatures in the winter months explain “what grows”. You appear to discount the likelihood of mixing caused by the significant force of nature that is the Gulfstream.

Please understand that I respect and appreciate your healthy skepticism. This is a phenomena that I have observed for a number of years but only recently do we have weather stations that allow quantitive analysis. This is a postulate that I believe to be accurate but do not claim certainty. Once again, I greatly appreciate your willingness to press the edges of this postulate!

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chinandega81

Well I mentioned what I attribute the warmer temps too. In general, temps along the SE FL coast are similar. Any given stretch of land anywhere with similar terrain is usually similar at this distance.

I believe that FL just happens to be a transition region to the tropics from the subtropics, so this is where we see the cold fade more to cool. Sometimes the East Coast is cooler than the West coast in cold events as happened just recently. In general, geography and prevailing patterns favor SE FL to be the warmest part of the state excluding the Keys. 

Without the GS, air masses would modify on their own. It happens all the time everywhere. I just don't see any evidence it somehow warms SE FL when we have offshore winds.

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bubba

I understand your position. Why does the SE coast compared to the SW coast of Florida experience substantially higher median and minimum temperatures but for the proximity of the Gulfstream? 
 

Let’s agree to disagree and be buds. Hopefully, a true scientist will undertake the appropriate study to either adopt or discount my belief about the proximity to the Gulfstream creating a microclimate.

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NOT A TA

I'm not a weather guy or scientist however I do live in Delray Beach less than 2 miles from the ocean along the section where the Gulf Stream is said to be closest to shore.  I spent 5 years trying to decide where I wanted to live when I moved South from CT.  One of the reasons I decided on this area was because the summer temps are not as hot and winter temps not as cold as most other areas in mainland FL.  People have noticed this for generations (beginning before AC was invented) and is probably one of the reasons the area right along the coast from Pompano to Palm Beach has arguably been one of the most desirable places to live.  It's probably part of the reason why places like The Breakers and Royal Poinciana Hotel were built here before AC was invented.  It's also probably part of the reason real estate here is more expensive than most other areas of the state.

I live right where the narrowest area of developed land is between the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge area and the Atlantic and the wet wildlife area may have an influence on the moderated temps. During the hot days of summer one can drive away from the ocean during the day and watch the temps climb in cars equipped with external thermometers. During the cold days of winter the opposite can be observed and I've not noticed any real difference if the wind is blowing different directions although I've never done it during extreme wind conditions.  In the 16-17 years I've been here I don't think it's ever gone above 93-94 at my house but North, South, and West of here it certainly does and when I took a look at temps posted on WU during our recent cool weather event Boca Raton and Delray Beach were the warmest places in the whole state.   As someone who lives here it seems like the Gulf Stream is the biggest influence on the moderated temps not only during cold events but also during the summer high heat periods.

 

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