As the nation is gripped by freezing cold temperatures, South Florida watches from the warmer sidelines

Fort Lauderdale Beach with Electronic Message Board on a hot and sunny day – Shutterstock – Image by Alan Budman

If you’ve taken a step outside of Florida’s state lines over the past week, chances are the roads were laden with snow and ice. Practically every state in the U.S. that is not Florida looked like a scene out of the 2004 film “The Day After Tomorrow.”

But, luckily for Floridians—cold weather is rare, and snow is an anomaly. “Cold” fronts aside, the truth is, the Sunshine State hardly sees temperatures dip below the 50s with the exception of this year’s winter season. Occasionally northern and central Florida receive the brunt of any cold weather, but by no means is it common or lengthy.

South Florida, in particular, is rarely ever affected by Florida “bone-chilling” standards. That has remained true, especially over the past week.

As power outages, icy roads, and winter wonderland conditions persist throughout the nation, Florida has been enjoying warm temperatures from the sidelines and likely will remain that way until the next winter season.  

“We’ve been dominated by an area of high pressure off of the western Atlantic that’s been pretty much keeping the warm temperatures here and not allowing the cold front to really dip down,” said Chuck Caracozza, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

This phenomenon is known as the “Bermuda High.”

The Bermuda high is a high-pressure system found in the Atlantic Ocean that, in short, delivers heat north, away from the tropics. It is also the same year-round system that protected the majority of South Florida from hurricanes this past season. Now, it’s playing a dominant role in safeguarding the state from one of the largest Arctic blasts ever.

While cold fronts in Florida aren’t unheard of, they tend to happen once or twice a year—with the exception of this season. But, fortunately for Florida, the Bermuda high system has been the shield it didn’t know it needed.

As of Wednesday, more than 100 million people across the country were covered by some form of cold weather advisory, watch, or warning, according to the National Weather Service

According to, roughly 3 million people reported power outages in their homes well through Wednesday afternoon in states spanning Texas, Oregon, Mississippi, Louisiana, and more. 

Meanwhile, the majority of Florida, with the exception of the Panhandle, is the only “hot” spot in the country. No surprise there. 

Courtesy: National Weather Service as of 2/17/2021

Though Florida isn’t out of the woods just yet.

“We’ve had cold outbreaks last into the beginning of April, at times. We certainly still can potentially have more over the next several weeks,” Caracozza added.

For now, the warm front is acting as a buffer between Florida and what seems to be the rest of the country. The cold weather has been so brutal in parts of the country that families have turned to find warmth in their vehicles. Sadly, one family from the Houston area passed away due to carbon monoxide from operating their vehicle in their garage. Others have been affected by house fires.

The vortex the nation is currently witnessing has been deadly, especially in regions that are unprepared, like Texas. 

Florida has yet again dodged another weather bullet, and for that, many people are likely thankful for living so far south.

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