Day of extremes in U.S. weather
Winter wear was beachwear as cold temperatures invaded Miami Beach.
January 4th, 2012
12:23 PM ET

Day of extremes in U.S. weather

Mark down January 4 as one strange day for weather in the United States. The extremes were topsy-turvy.

While Floridians were experiencing record low temperatures, Montanans were seeing record highs that are normal for April or October.

Forecast highs in the upper 50s in Montana were expected to break records in Lewistown, Great Falls, Harve and a handful of other places, according to the National Weather Service.

Similar highs were forecast Wednesday for large portions of Florida.

Overnight, record lows were set in Alma  at 19 degrees (breaking record of 20 set in 2001) and Gainesville, 20 degrees (breaking record of 22 set in 1900). Record lows were tied in Jacksonville, 22 degrees (set in 1887), Tallahassee, 18 degrees (set in 1928), and Appalachicola, 26 degrees (set in 2010).

In Homestead in South Florida, farmers scrambled to protect crops from the damaging cold overnight, CNN affiliate WSVN-TV reported. On Wednesday, they were assessing any possible damage.

"It's not as bad as it could've been. There's still some damage - the extent we don't know yet. With freezes, it's a little difficult. It might take a day or two to really see the effects of it," Miami-Dade Agricultural Manager Charles Lapradd told the station.

In Louisiana, a flood warning was in effect for St. Mary Parish. “Do not drive cars through flooded areas. Remember … two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including pickups. Turn around and don’t drown,” the weather service said.

Wednesday's extremes extend beyond the contiguous 48 states, too.

Forecasters in Hawaii issued a high surf warning, with wave heights on north-facing shores of the islands expected to hit 25 to 35 feet through Thursday morning. West-facing shores could see wave heights of 15 to 25 feet, forecasters said.

Meanwhile in southern Alaska, the weather service warned of dangerous winds with sustained speeds of 35 to 55 mph and gusts up to 85 mph, the strength seen in a Category 1 hurricane.

One thing that's not unexpected is frigid temperatures in Alaska in January, and Bethel, Alaska, near the state's west coast was fulfilling expectations on Wednesday, with a forecast high of 15 below to 20 below zero and wind chills as low as 50 below zero, the weather service said.

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Filed under: Alaska • Florida • Hawaii • Montana • U.S. • Weather • Winter weather
soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Bethany

    January 5, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. thebeerdude

    Oh the weather outside is weather. This article is completely brainless. Weather extremes are constantly happening.

    January 5, 2012 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. blucorsair

    Another fine example of "global warming," which is a farce! ..the libbies just can't admit that the weather has been in a constant state of change ever since the creation of the earth! ...but then again like our president, they profess to be Gods!

    January 5, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Shneeky

      Yeah, that guy is always sayin' he's a god... heard 'im sayin' it... you right! True dat!

      January 5, 2012 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      There are several 100,000's of towns across the USA recording daily temperatures, over a 365 day year, there are literally millions of chances for some town somewhere to set a record low. Statistically this happens somewhere every year. You should ask yourself how the occurrences of record lows in any one year compares to the occurrences of record highs.
      Some actual data

      January 5, 2012 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      "Global warming" is an increase in global average temperatures.

      Anyway, it is called Climate change for a reason. Some areas may just get colder, weather patterns will shift (which is what the constant setting of new extremes is an indication of, effectively the standard weather pattern, and thus the general climate, is changing). Also, colder winters and hotter summers with shorter periods of fall and spring are within the general expectations as well, the world isn't simply heating up, it is shifting towards the extremes.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Rogelio

      New records for cold weather will continue to be set, but global warming's gradual influence will make them increasingly rare.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Clint

      Park your car in your garage, get in it and start it up and see what happens. While you're in there imagine millions of cars and factories on this earth spewing chemical compouns into the air. Then have your next of kin tell us if they think global warming might be possible.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • blucorsair

      According to the most recent world temperature averages compiled by NASA, the earth is in a very slight cooling state! They also went on to say that there are high and low temps. recorded over the years that don't fit the pattern of "Global Warming" either! ...again, weather is cyclical and the libbies just can't get over it!

      January 5, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      So funny that people don't realize what is happening but that is the problem with society – 99% of people really just cannot think for themselves. The funny part is they actually believe this is a liberal agenda. Have you been to china??? They are introducing pollutants that are simply unable to be decomposed by nature.

      Personally, I love the climate change as it only fuels stronger storms and natural disasters that help to curb the population. We haven't had a good war in a while so this is all we have to stop humans for breeding to the point of extinction.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Trolleyfish

      blucorsair, I call BS. What NASA temperatures are you talking about? And how do they show a cooling trend?

      January 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. California dreamin

    Lived in the so-called "sunshine state" for several years, then I moved to Southern California. I've never seen so many rainless, cloudless days in my life here. In stark contrast, Florida was rain central. It was 85 degrees here in Palm Springs today. The winters here are generally warmer and MUCH dryer than Florida winters. I was out by the pool today and actually had to take a dip because I got hot, in January no less.

    January 5, 2012 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Shiner

      Really? When you moved, did you think the weather in CA would be the same as it was in FL?

      January 5, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. angela.white128

    BillionaireFriends.COMit's a person'als place where you can meet success'ful rich men, classy mature women, rich women look'ing for mar'riage, or just meet friends and sing'les. Good luck! 🙂

    January 5, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. hamsta

    global warming is just chicken littles invention to tax the air we breathe.the sky is falling but if u give me money ill make it stop.maybe if welfare recipients stop breathing we would have less co2 and we could give chicken little some of that money.

    January 5, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. Believe

    If you don't believe in global warming (whatever the cause)......then I truly feel sorry for your children (more than likely they will take a very stubborn position throughout life as well).

    January 5, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Normally a Snowman

    Yep, taking the motorcycle to work this whole week in Montana. What a treat for January!

    January 5, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. TeaClown

    I love weather extremes! Those powerful tornadoes that kill hundreds in the bible belt are nothing short of a miracle! Keep 'em coming!

    January 5, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jim in Bethel, AK

    Our high in Bethel was -23 with a low of -34. I believe at the peak, the wind chill was -60. The last time we were above zero was prior to Christmas. How's that for global warming.

    January 6, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tabari Suggs

    Your credit track record is actually published by any of the ... Most property owners will consider your credit history ... Guidance if you should restoration their particular bad credit ... Reporting Bad Landlords

    January 12, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
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