I have lived in southeast Florida, off and on, since I arrived in August of 1961 to attend the University of Miami. (Notice I said attend, not study. I had a real good time and learned absolutely nothing except that driving out to Crandon Park in a convertible with the top down in February beat slogging through the snow to go to classes in Missouri where I’d spent the previous winter.)
Through the years people have asked the question, “How can you stand the summers there? Isn’t it horribly hot?”
I would always answer, truthfully, that I had never seen it hit 1oo here. Close, but never made it to the century mark. I’ve seen it get to 100 on Cape Cod when I was a kid. Same thing in Chicago and New Orleans when I lived there. Every summer all over the United States it hit’s 100, but our southeast breezes off the Atlantic always keeps us just under the magic number. Sure, the “heat index,” summer’s answer to the “wind chill” factor…the “feels like” temperature will be over 100 degrees, but the mercury, what the temperature actually is, has always stayed below 100.
That is until yesterday. At 4:59 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, the official National Weather Service reporting station it hit 100 tying the record set on August 4, 1944! The temperature actually reached 101 degrees in Fort Lauderdale but only for a few minutes, said meteorologist Brad Diehl of the National Weather Service in Miami.
“It didn’t retain that value long enough to count,” he said.
The heat index came in at 111 degrees.
It’s been raining all morning today and the temperature is clocking in at a comfortable 74.