Key West: The Land Of Perpetual Summer

Friday, November 15, 2019 - by AccuWeather

While it seems like the entire eastern half of the country was stuck in a week-long ice age in recent days, one area in South Florida has quietly gotten away with living in an alternate, far warmer reality. Wednesday's high temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit marked the 231st consecutive day of temperatures reaching at least 80. And on Thursday, the mercury climbed past 80 again, extending the streak to 232 days.

The streak of warmth breaks a record dating all the way back to 1872, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The last time Key West residents had to endure the hardship of a sub-80 degree day was on March 27, when the thermometer only reached 78.

Through the first two weeks of November, 13 of the 14 days of the month have topped the historical average high, the NWS said on Thursday. The only day that didn't, Nov. 9, still hit 80 F to keep the remarkable hot streak alive.

NWS Key West Observing Program Leader David Ross told AccuWeather that warm water temperatures have aided the warmer November days.

"A significant factor for our temperature remaining warm so far in November are the sea water temperatures surrounding the Keys. Key West Harbor remains in the low/mid-80s," Ross said. "Until a strong cold front comes through and cools them down, they will continue to help moderate the temperatures across the islands," he added. "With a recent cold front bringing temperatures down into the lower-mid 70s and a high of just 80 on Nov. 9, the streak was almost broken."

According to the NWS Key West Facebook page, the previous longest streak of 80-degree or greater high temperatures in Key West was 225 consecutive days, which ended on Oct. 22, 1965.

Ross said that the record streak has been able to stay alive for so long thanks to timely misses from cold fronts, particularly back in spring, which allowed Key West to get an early start on the streak.

"This year has been able to reach a longer streak by ... Key West missing out on late winter-early fall cold fronts," Ross said. "Of the top 30 streaks for consecutive days at 80-plus, 19 of them haven't started until April -- five were as late as the week of April 20."

On the record-setting 231st consecutive night of warm weather, the NWS shared this sunset photo. (Twitter / @NWSKeyWest)

The steady nirvana of Key West's weather starkly contrasts with what other areas of Florida have experienced this week.

In Pensacola, temperatures lingered in the 40s and 30s throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, even dipping down to 29 F on Wednesday afternoon.

In Jacksonville, temperatures plummeted from 80 degrees on Tuesday afternoon to 44 by Wednesday evening. Similar, heavy drops in temperature are consistent throughout the Sunshine State.

While Key West residents may be basking in their extended good fortunes, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio says their warm streak may be in its final days.

AccuWeather forecasters say Key West's epic warm streak could come to an end on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, when a cool front could keep temperatures from reaching 80 for the first time since March 27, 2019.

"On average, the high typically dips in the 70s by the middle of November, so we should be falling into the 80-degree threshold within the next seven days," he said. "There is a cold front that will move through early Saturday morning, so we might fall below 80 on Saturday."

Even as the streak winds to a likely end, Ross said it has only reiterated his appreciation for the area where he lives.

"For those of us that prefer the warmth, it's been great," he said. "People are probably ready to have a prolonged break from the humidity though!"


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