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. Matt

    At least almost all over the U.S. it's very sunny even in winter, compared to most of Europe of which it's rather cloudy and damp in winter!!

    January 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    In some parts of the world, it is warm.
    Really warm.
    In some parts of the world, it's cold.
    Really cold.
    Depending on the time of year it is, in different parts of the world it's warm or cold.

    We call this "weather".

    The End.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beatrix Kiddo

      How simplistic, and ignorant.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rizzo

      agree ,,, the earth will be around long after we are gone ,, and you know what it will still have weather

      January 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • RS

      Clearly, it was a little too complicated for Beatrix Kiddo. Dumb it down some more next time, please.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pointless1

      I would put money on it, no more than a high school education.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Meki60

    Hey Gore, you have not brokered enough carbon credits yet to fix this. Better get out of the massage parlors and get to work saving the planet.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. EA

    Spelling – Havre – not Harve.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rizzo

    The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!

    ― George Carlin

    January 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      OH GOD A COMEDIAN SAID SOMETHING AND YOU'RE QUOTING IT, IT MUST THEREFORE BE TRUE.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Siri

      Comedians are humerous, not true. A "few plastic bags" is the tip of the iceberg. Pollution, extinction, global warming. Humans are definitely the worst thing to happen to our Earth. I hope you understand this is a topic not to be taken lightly.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • RS

      Ladies and gentlemen,

      Let me give you a lesson on logic and why the commenter – Nah – is stupid, ignorant, does not know logic and doesn't know how to prove a point/argument properly.

      He assumed because a comedian said a statement, that it should be considered questionable BECAUSE said person is a comedian. We call that an association fallacy. Learn how to argue, buddy. Saying someone is incorrect because of his/her profession doesn't make any *****ing sense.

      #Logic'd!

      January 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • John P.

      Well, nah, feel free to refute any of those points. You probably believe the earth was created in a week and it's always been a great paradise.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeah

      it is true.. global warming etc is happening and A LARGE portion of it is happening because of us. the comedian is RIGHT because the planet will be find in the end THAT is for sure. Will we? Time will tell...

      January 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ft myers fl

    huu

    January 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    I loved this statement so much I had to print it again:

    "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."

    I was unaware that Charles Manson has access to the internet...

    January 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Some people haven't grasped the concept of sarcasm.
    Pity, really.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. We'llGoWithTed

    Good lord. Reading CNN message boards is just exhausting. I have come to the conclusion that any topic for some reason spawns a liberal/conservative debate with little objective that ends in crazy accusations. I'm not intimately in tune with the political topics of the day however I'm fairly certain that Obama did not influence the weather today. If he did, I would be upset because he didn't use his powers to give people more money and stop the Occupiers from interrupting my bus commute. I have a cat at home I need to get to you know.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      A cat at home huh.. Who would have thunk it.........

      January 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peter

    Climate Change in progress. Eventually all froth (and research fund$$$) about Global Warming will become irrelevant and forgotten, as the world is forced to face a telluric weather catastrophe and its bitter, terrible consequences.

    But hey, keep dancing. It will hit only by the next generation, but then you don't really care, do you?

    January 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      zzzzzzzzzz

      Oh, sorry, you bored everyone with your inane comment.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dennis

    Nice to know it was warm today in Tucson with a high of 76 degs.It is always warm in Tucson.If it's not warm,then it's very hot.We have two seasons here.I prefer the warm weather,the rest of you can have our summer heat to warm up your winters elsewhere in the U.S.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    What's all the fussin' about? We freeze our tails off every winter in central Florida and this year is no worse or better than most! Someone has fallen prey to the Florida myth about warm, delightful weather all year round and endless gloriious sunshine! Yeah, lots of sunshine and no snow (for what that's worth), I'll grant you, but it gets biting cold and windy/raw in the winter more often than the tourist industry wants anyone to know.

    January 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Been to Florida about 40 times. You have no idea what biting cold is. Give you a hint, it's not 30 degrees.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jordan

    Co2 emissions. Climate Change. The U.S alone pumps atleast 5 and a half million tonnes of Co2 into the atmosphere every single year. Add up all the countries in the world doing the same thing and we are heading towards dangerous territory. Not many people seem to care though

    January 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      Lolz.

      The CO2 content of the atmosphere is .03%. Humans add only 3% of the CO2 to the atmosphere each year.

      Is that miniscule fraction of a number the tipping point for the environment? Maybe. But if it is, you'll have to prove it.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Los

    I have been in Florida the past week and it really isn't as cold as the media makes it out to be! The temperture the media was talking about happened at 1am, but as soon as the sun is back out, it is in the 60's close to 70's were I am. I guess that is a little cold, it's not the high 70's or 80's!

    January 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stacy

    temprature here in SD are ranging from low sixties to the teens, very unusual with no snow... i dont know about any yall who live here but im not worrying about global warming, im just enjoying it 🙂

    January 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
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