As we begin to wrap up what is typically a mild month of December, it’s looking ever certain that our chilliest months, January and February, will be some of the coldest in recent times.
By Patrick Jude
Each morning I find my knit cap still damp from the night before. As a night owl, frequently out and about until the early hours of mornings, I’m no stranger to the coldest hours when the projected low is in full effect. Condensation blankets seemingly everything in sight; setting the stage for the cold mornings we’ve found ourselves in over the last week.
The notion of bundling up is rarely necessary in Florida, but these early cold snaps, occurring in most states, hardly mirror a nation in which fourteen states experienced record setting and sweltering summers earlier this year, the likes of which haven’t been felt in well over 100 years.
Despite the heat waves that swept the country in early 2017, states unaccustomed to snow flurries awoke last week to find inches at their doors. Atlanta, Houston, and even parts of our own Panhandle bundled up for colder than average temperatures and unusual weather. Given that it’s not even technically winter yet, it’s looking to be a cold one; leaving masses of Central Floridians with hope for a few flurries when we enter the coldest of months.
It’s not impossible. A smooth sheet of sleety snow layered itself as far south as Gainesville just last year, on January 22nd, 2016, so it’s hardly improbable to imagine that we could experience a similar occurrence just a few miles south. While children, and adults who haven’t lost their joy, would surely bask in the snowy spectacle, it would undoubtedly create pandemonium for others – businesses especially.
The humidity of Florida, mixing with the slick sleet, could effortlessly create hazardous road conditions for even the most experienced of drivers. It was only three years ago, in January of 2014, when the Florida Highway Patrol closed close to 200 miles of I-10, causing a massive redirecting of traffic. Along with a general decrease of foot traffic, businesses would surely suffer after delayed deliveries due to necessary precautions on the roadways.
In a state unprepared for freezing temperatures, flight cancellations would be a dime a dozen. Additionally, folks in Georgia experienced power outages spread throughout the state as a result of this month’s unexpected weather; a fate that Floridians would surely meet should similar weather transpire.
Closed stores and delayed deliveries could potentially cause a struggle for food and supplies – comparable to the days before a hurricane. It’s not a bad idea to have some extra rations of food on hand for yourself, loved ones and, of course, your pets.
By and large, however, a few days of snowy conditions would be a treat for Central Floridians should it ever occur, and especially for those born and raised, like myself, who have never seen snow. As we begin to wrap up what is typically a mild month of December, it’s looking ever certain that our chilliest months, January and February, will be some of the coldest in recent times.
Even if we don’t get inches or flurries, we’ll surely be subjected to some seriously slick roads during the frostier conditions. Be sure to give your car ample time to warm up, and check the tread on your tires so we can keep our roadways safe!
Born and raised in Orlando, and Socialist to the core, Patrick Jude graduated from The University Of Central Florida in 2015. He currently holds a B.A. in English Literature, as well as an A.A. in Jazz Performance from Valencia College. Jude is heavily tattooed, abstains from alcohol and is an avid Packers fan.
Currently Listening To – A Love Supreme by John Coltrane