Two days of particularly low temperatures along the Treasure Coast are expected to turn into 'great weather' to enjoy the outdoors, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist Monday.
“This week, really, you couldn't really ask for a much better week, especially in January,” Kole Fehling, an NWS meteorologist in Melbourne, said Monday.
The lovely weather follows back-to-back mornings beginning Sunday of seriously shivery temperatures.
The mercury on Sunday registered just 30 degrees in Vero Beach, equaling a record last set in 1978, while temperatures measured 32 degrees in Fort Pierce, tying a record last set in 1966. Temperatures Sunday in Stuart were 38, Fehling said.
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Measured temperatures Monday were colder, though not besting or equaling records.
It was 29 Monday in Fort Pierce and 28 in Vero Beach, slightly higher than record low temperatures in 1966 of 27 and 26, respectively, in the areas, Fehling said. The temperature in Stuart Monday was 37.
Normal lows for this time of year, he said, are in the low 50s.
“It does kind of tell you how unusual this type of cold is,” Fehling said.
Fehling said Sunday that multiple cold fronts came through. In many instances, he said, one cold front will come through, and it will warm quickly. Temperatures tend to be warmer in coastal areas.
“The first cold front kind of sets everything up and then the second one will make it even colder,” Fehling said.
An informal survey of a small number of areas near downtown Stuart on Sunday morning revealed a handful of homes where some plants were covered. Few people were out walking pets or exercising.
Fehling said often the second morning after the cold front moves through is usually the coldest morning.
Several groups opened cold weather shelters across the Treasure Coast.
An emergency shelter called Dignity Bus, a 45-foot motorcoach that can accommodate 20, was occupied at capacity over the weekend, said Anthony Zorbaugh, CEO and executive director of The Source in Indian River County.
A shelter at The Salvation Army of Indian River County in Vero Beach opened Saturday and Sunday and about 12 people each night utilized the service, said Capt. Ryan Meo, corps officer at The Salvation Army of Indian River County.
Roughly 30 to 40 people each night beginning Friday stayed with In The Image of Christ on North 7th Street in Fort Pierce, said receptionist Krysty Bradley. That shelter also will be open Monday and Tuesday, she said.
Fourteen people on Saturday and 13 on Sunday sheltered at the 10th Street Community Center in Stuart, according to Martha Ann Kneiss, spokesperson with Martin County.
The remainder of the week's weather is especially promising, Fehling said.
“Pretty crazy how fast we're going to warm up,” Fehling said. “We're in the … mid 60s (Monday) and into the 70s, and then we'll be into the probably lower 80s by the end of the week.”
Fehling warned of a high risk for rip currents, though.
“Hopefully people can get out and enjoy the weather, but keep in mind ... rip current safety, the seas will be rough,” Fehling said.
Will Greenlee is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Will on Twitter @OffTheBeatTweet or reach him by phone at 772-692-8936. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Record tying lows in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, warming expected