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. Just.The.Facts

    it's from all the chem-trailing they are doing. it is disrupting the weather. look over central oregon for example

    January 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Yeah chem trails, sure why not.... lets go with the new/old myths on the net... Anything but climate change right?

      January 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • adam

      youre an idiot. chemtrails dont exist.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Setoro

      strangedaysstrangeskies...educate yourselves....Im spraying on a daily basis, aluminum, barium, H1N5 virus, all kinds of cool stuff..PS have you gotten your flu shots??

      January 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Setoro

      Besides, like Ive told you a hundred times ...ITS GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT

      January 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Setoro

      Jen are you a white girl...I like white girls

      January 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Laura

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Im Not!!!! The price of orange juice is going up due to frozen crops! PANIC TIME

      January 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cubikrubik

    Earth axis shifts. That is why Mayan calendar ends in 2012...

    January 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. american citizen

    You fool. This is all but made up, no scientific proof has been found. The media is lying to you. It is an infectious form of HIV that spreads around the black community, a form of ethnic cleansing. The white man does not want to step down from his seat of power. Get your facts right, and do some research. The real genocide is before you.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Admiral Ackbar

      It's a trap!!!

      January 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Zrri

    HA – It was in the 80's in Arizona the last few days, nice, but confuses the heck out of the plants.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      If the plants were confused, leaves would stay on the trees all year long and not shed at all...not even change colors.
      It's nice and warm up here, no snow compared to last year when the snow drifts were up to my chest (I'm five feet).

      January 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. UhYeaOk

    Have to laugh every time someone points to global warming every time the weather is erratic. Saw a movies from the 50's on tv last night, in it Cary Grant says he had just read something in the paper about the global wearther changing. I guess hollywood was in on the global warming conspiracy half a century ago...

    January 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. berman

    Not in San Diego...it was amazingly mild here like always...bwahahahaha

    January 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • justme

      along with bumper to bumper traffic as far as you can see. been there done that, only going back for visits between earthquakes. oh yeah you never know when .

      January 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hamsta

    i think we need to worry more about dumping plastic in the ocean more than global warming.mercury is also worse for the environment than co2.whatever gas they use to make ur energy efficient lcd tv is 10000 more potent of a greenhouse gas than co2.methane is also a dozen more times potent than co2.a single farting cow offsets the daily use of 10 automobiles.these global warming whackos have u so worried about mans insignificant output of a harmless inert gas that they have u poisoning ur environment with hazardous materials that arent so inert usedto produce or contained in all ur energy efficient devices including solar panels.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MarquiMark

    60 degrees in Nebraska tomorrow if this is global warming I'm buying for CFC's.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bbdd

    Drive safely

    January 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TORI

    Phoenix is still really sweet at now 80 degrees and no humidity. Heading home to Tucson tomorrow to hopefully similar temps. @banasy, was the organic banana worth it and did it cost a buck per each? LOL!

    January 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. american citizen

    You fool. This is all but made up, no scientific proof has been found. The media is lying to you. It is an infectious form of HIV that spreads around the black community, a form of ethnic cleansing. The white man does not want to step down from his seat of power. Get your facts right, and do some research. The real genocide is right before your eyes.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hamsta

    climate change is real yes its been happening for billions of years.man is not causing it and cant stop it.though it is wise to be more energy efficient its not wise to poison the environment with hazardous materials to do so.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Luciano

    What is this? It was colder last year than it is this year...

    January 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tony

    40 in minneapolis today! Laying out for a tan!

    January 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
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