Temperature Records in Orlando, and the Next Severe Weather Season

Tootsie Rolls were the candy picked for WWII soldier’s field rations, in part because they resisted melting. And unless you’re Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and therefore have the luxury of a giant fleet of refrigerated tractor-trailers backstage to keep your Halloween candy from melting, you might want to pick them for your trick-or-treaters this year, too.

The Attractions area had its “God love ’em, they tried” attempt at Fall about a week ago. But the heat and humidity have set in once again, with heat indices at or near 100 degrees over the past few days. As this is being typed, the 8:45 PM temperature just north of Magic Kingdom is 84 degrees.

The high temperature Monday at Orlando International Airport was 92 degrees, which ties a record set in 2010. More disheartening was Sunday’s record, in which the low temperature of 74 was the warmest a low temp has ever been for that date, breaking a record previously set ten years prior. Thursday’s low temperature of 72 was the warmest that date’s low temp had been since 1969. In other words, not much relief after dark.

So what other atmospheric shenanigans does November have in store for us? Well, theoretically we still have another month of hurricane season to go. And let’s not forget that November and December surprisingly bring a higher risk of strong tornadoes in Florida (not more tornadoes… but the ones that do form tend to be stronger). And those tornadoes can be violent well after nightfall, despite the lack of active daytime heating. It was just ten nights ago that we had an 11:30PM third-of-a-mile-wide tornado… with 120 MPH winds and a 9-mile long path of damage… plow through an area about 30 miles southwest of Disney. And we came a bit closer than we’d like to admit to having a tornado form between Epcot and Hollywood Studios that same night.

Those images show radar returns a mere 475 above the ground (about two-and-a-half times the height of Spaceship Earth). The image on the left shows very low-level rotating winds. Fortunately, the hook echo never fully formed, and the rotation never tightened up or got stronger than about 20 mph of shear. It was close… maybe even a funnel cloud… but no tornado on the ground.

Fall in Florida is anything but PSLs and cardigans.

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