How Cool Are We?

Miami stayed cooler than many parts of the northeast Tuesday.
By Robert C. Jones Jr.

Miami stayed cooler than many parts of the northeast Tuesday.

How Cool Are We?

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
As a heat wave grips the Northeast, Miami stays cool. UM experts explain why.

They were baking in Boston on Tuesday as the mercury hit 92 degrees by midday. In the Big Apple, temperatures climbed into the 90s. And in Philadelphia the blast furnace registered a blistering 96. 

A sweltering heat wave brought scorching temperatures to much of the Northeast yesterday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue heat advisories and warnings for many states. 

But down in Miami, home to an NBA franchise with a name—the Heat—that personifies the city’s climate, temps stayed in the mid-80s, making the Magic City one of the coolest along the eastern seaboard—at least for a day. 

So what gives? 

“The more northern cities along the east coast are warmer than south Florida today, thanks largely to a strong ridge centered over the mid-Atlantic,” said Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “Our weather is actually seasonal—mid-to-upper 80s with a heat index in the mid-to-upper 90s by late afternoon.” 

Increased cloud cover is another reason for the cooler temperatures in Miami on Tuesday, said Ben Kirtman, professor of atmospheric sciences and director of NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies based at the Rosenstiel School, going on to explain that while “most of the U.S. is faltering, part of the response to that, fortunately for us, is a little bit cooler temperatures.”

Whatever the reason for it, students and employees on UM’s Coral Gables campus took advantage of Tuesday’s pleasant conditions. “I had been avoiding going outside lately because it’s been so hot, but today I noticed the weather felt different. So I stepped outside, walked to Miami’s Best Pizza, and brought a pie back to the office,” said Frances Garcia-Balbin, assistant director of alumni engagement. 

Her lunchtime stroll for pizza undoubtedly was more pleasant than what residents in Washington, D.C. experienced. There, temperatures reached the mid-90s on Tuesday.

With the heat wave gripping our nation’s capital and much of the Northeast, it probably wasn’t the best time for Starbucks to start offering its popular autumn drink, a steaming pumpkin spice latte—a fact The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. 

“Looking ahead,” wrote The Post, “we can’t find any pumpkin spice-worthy weather in the near future. The rest of the week is going to be miserably hot and humid.”