As we creep along through fall and move into the winter months, those of us in Florida are probably hoping for relief from the summer heat. Especially considering most of us had to suffer without air conditioning for several days after Irma crashed the party. However, it is looking like we can look forward to a warmer and drier winter 2017 compared to average winters.
Higher Temperatures Expected
According to NOAA long range forecasts, there is around a 40% chance that Florida will be experiencing a warm winter. This is largely to be blamed on La Nina – a weather phenomenon that crops up periodically and leads to warmer weather across the southern US. What this means for you is that you should not expect a major dip in your energy bills this winter due to lesser AC use. It is likely you will have to keep the system running for much of the winter.
That does not mean it will not get cool or cold – occasional cold days do happen even in the warmest of winters. Temperatures are further expected to average in the 60 to 70-degree Fahrenheit range. If anything, you may find this to be a supremely comfortable winter while still being warm enough to justify a trip to the beach.
A Dry Winter is Also Expected
Florida residents are used to winter being somewhat dry. This is the reason why people are more inclined to go out during the winter months than they are during the summers after all. While rain will probably happen at some point, you should not expect quite so much of it. When combined with the anticipated above average temperatures, this winter will probably be perfect for a pool party.
How Should I Prepare?
Given that you will likely need to keep your air conditioning system in good condition throughout winter, the best preparation is to keep up on routine maintenance. You probably will not catch a break where you can live without your air conditioner until January at the earliest, so it is important to keep the system maintained over these coming months. If there appears to be an issue with your system, get it checked out now rather than finding yourself trapped in a day of unseasonable warmth wishing you had climate control.
That being said, feel free to consider turning up the thermostat as the winter months roll in. No sense wasting energy on more cooling than you need after all. In the short term, definitely have your heating system looked at by a technician and have it replaced or overhauled if it is approaching the end of life. We might not be expecting a cold winter, but that does not mean cold doesn’t happen. Furthermore, this is a time of year where you can actually afford to go without your heating system for a while – giving you time to save up money on a replacement system if it becomes necessary.
How Accurate Are These Predictions?
Given that this is an advice guide, you are probably wondering how reliable it is. The data all comes from NOAA, who were fairly accurate in their predictions last year as well. Although a few specific regions experienced much colder temperatures than they were expecting due to a westward shift of the jet stream, their predictions for our area were perfect.
That being said – we are the sunshine state. As much as we might joke about that name in rainy summer months – and particularly during hurricane season – saying that we expect sun during a Florida winter is like saying you expect the oceans to be wet.