Winter 2022-2023 Newsletter
Dear Florida Climate Center Friends,
We'd like to present you with the Winter 2022-2023 edition of our quarterly newsletter. In this newsletter, you'll find our most recent monthly climate summaries for the past three months, an update on the La Niña Advisory and Florida drought status, and the upcoming seasonal outlook. You will also find an update on events and activities we've been engaged in. If you have any questions, please send us an e-mail at
The Staff of the Florida Climate Center
Monthly Climate Summaries for Florida
The Florida Climate Center's December, January, and February Climate Summaries for Florida are available, as well as previous monthly summaries. These summaries provide an analysis of temperature and precipitation patterns across the state, along with data on hazardous weather, drought, and daily records tied or broken each month.

The monthly average temperatures in December were near to above normal across the state. The monthly departures from normal ranged from -1.3 ̊F in Melbourne to +2.7 ̊F in Pensacola. Record cold temperatures occurred during the week of Christmas, with wind chills in the single digits. Several daily record lows were broken or tied on the 24th, including Niceville (17 ̊F), Marianna (17 ̊F), and Tarpon Springs (24 ̊F), as well as on the 25th in Daytona Beach (28 ̊F), Cross City (19 ̊F), and Marianna (19 ̊F).

Average temperatures in January were above normal for the month, particularly across the Panhandle. Monthly mean temperature departures from normal ranged from +1.3 ̊F in Melbourne to +6.8 ̊F in Pensacola. Temperatures in the beginning of the month rebounded quickly following a cold end to 2022. Many daily record high temperatures were tied or broken throughout the month.

Average monthly temperatures in February were well above normal. Monthly mean temperature departures from normal ranged from +2.7 ̊F in Key West to +5.1 ̊F in Fort Myers. Many locations observed one of their warmest months of February on record, including Miami (2nd-warmest), Naples (2nd-warmest), Fort Myers (3rd-warmest), Orlando (4th-warmest), Vero Beach (4th-warmest), and Key West (5th-warmest). 

Winter (DJF) precipitation was largely below normal for the season with the exception of an area in the Big Bend where it was near normal and in southern Florida where it was slightly above normal. The figures below are graphical depictions of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (in inches) for December, January, and February (courtesy of the National Weather Service), as well as the seasonal departure from normal (courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center).
View monthly Climate Summaries for more information, including temperature and precipitation totals and departures from normal for select cities, daily records tied or broken, severe weather, as well as drought and soil moisture conditions.
La Niña Weakened with a Transition to ENSO-Neutral on the Horizon
La Niña conditions, the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern, were still in place through January but exhibited signs of weakening. Below-average sea surface temperatures continued to weaken further across the equatorial Pacific Ocean into February, as well as weakening negative subsurface temperature anomalies. A transition to ENSO-neutral conditions is expected during the spring to early summer timeframe.

Models suggest there are increasing chances of a transition to El Niño during summer, but uncertainty remains high at longer forecast horizons. It is too early to say with certainty what the ENSO phase will be beyond spring, as this time of year is notoriously difficult for forecasting ENSO long-term because of the so-called spring-time prediction barrier.
Drought Status in Florida
With recent above-normal temperatures and lack of precipitation, drought has expanded across the state over the past couple of weeks. Severe drought (D2) impacted the Panhandle during the first half of the winter season through December and much of January. Beneficial rains led to drought improvement across the Panhandle, but drier than normal conditions in January and February have resulted in drought development across the Peninsula over the past couple of weeks. Currently, 65% of the state is in moderate drought (D1) and 23% is abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Check out our latest Florida drought update below. These updates are available on our website here.
The Seasonal Outlook for Spring 2023 Leaning Warmer and Drier than Normal in Florida
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center anticipates a warmer than normal spring on average, from March through May, for the southern tier of the U.S., including Florida. Average spring precipitation is leaning below normal for most of Florida, with a 33%-40% chance of below normal precipitation across northern Florida and a 40%-50% chance in south Florida. As a result, drought conditions are expected to persist.
FCC in the News
Recent Engagements
University of Florida IFAS Extension, Tavares, FL, November 30, 2022

David Zierden gave a talk entitled "Trends in Florida's Winter Weather and 2022/2023 Climate Outlook."
Sustainable Regional Systems - Gulf Network Workshop, University of Miami, FL, February 9-10, 2023

The University of Miami hosted a Gulf Coast workshop on sea level rise adaptation for urban-rural systems. Assistant state climatologist Emily Powell moderated a panel on sea level rise planning and decision making with state, regional and local resilience decision makers from Florida to Texas.
Annual Wiregrass Cotton Expo, Auburn University Extension, Dothan, AL, February 10, 2023

The Florida Climate Center participated in the annual Wiregrass Cotton Expo, hosted by the Alabama Extension Service, where growers come together to learn from one another. State Climatologist David Zierden gave a talk on "Weather Trends in the Southeast and the 2023 Climate Outlook."
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Southeast Research Symposium, Tampa, FL, February 28, 2023

David Zierden gave a keynote presentation entitled "Climate Change, Variability, and Occupational Health and Safety."
Upcoming Events
Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar Series

This webinar series, hosted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center in partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the NOAA National Weather Service, is held on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 10am ET. The next webinar is March 28, 2023. The special topic will be on: "The La Nina scorecard for the Southeast and what to expect in spring/early summer," by Florida Climate Center's David Zierden. Register here.
Florida Water and Climate Alliance Webinar

The Florida Water and Climate Alliance will host a webinar on "Future Rainfall Projections for Water Resources Planning and Management: Stakeholder Needs Assessment" on March 28, 2023. The talk will feature an overview of the Florida Flood Hub and its Climate and Sea Level Rise Working Groups by Dr. Tom Frazier, USF Executive Director of the Florida Flood Hub. This will be followed by a panel discussion on diverse water sector needs for and uses of climate information. More information is here.
About Us
The Florida Climate Center is part of a three-tiered system of national, regional, and state climate offices, including NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI - in Asheville, North Carolina) and the Southeast Regional Climate Center (in Chapel Hill, North Carolina). The Florida State Climatologist and staff at the Florida Climate Center provide the following information and services to the people of Florida:

Climate Data
Historical weather observations for weather stations throughout the state of Florida. We are able to provide data for most stations from 1948-present.

Climate Information
Long-term historical averages for various stations, climate divisions, and the entire state.

Extreme Event Records
Information and analyses on extreme events such as freezes, droughts, floods and hurricanes.

Special Analysis
With their vast knowledge of El Niño, La Niña and climate variability, the State Climatologist and staff can offer expert insight into Florida's climate trends.

Activities, presentations, and workshops that inform and educate the people of Florida about current and emerging climate issues. We also coordinate volunteers for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).
Florida Climate Center | Florida State University | | (850) 644-3417