It’s Warming Up; Early Season Highs Send Students to Shade

Tallahassee has transitioned from an unusually warm winter to the second hottest spring on record.

This March was the second in a row to start with higher than normal temperatures.

This year’s temperatures are competing with last year’s highs and lows. Temperatures peaked in mid-March, reaching the upper 80s and lower 90s.

“March came in well above normal,” said Mark Wool, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. “Only one other year had a warmer March. We almost got that. We missed it by a few tenths of a degree.”

Tallahassee temperatures are following a familiar pattern, warmer than usual. The lowest low for March, according to, was 35 on March 5.

The lowest low for March 2011, according to, was 31 on March 12. This pattern is expected to continue.

There is no correlation between the spring and summer temperatures. Yet, temperatures are predicted to remain high. These high temperatures will aid in the formation of hurricanes over the Gulf.

“The long range climate outlooks are calling for a better chance of above normal temperatures for the summer,” Wool said. “Certainly, the remaining spring months will stay warmer than normal.”

Feeling the increase in temperature, students are already gathering in shaded areas, fanning with pieces of cardboard or enjoying cool ice cream to curb the heat. Some students came prepared for a colder season.

“It was actually really, really hot,” said Alexis Chavers, 19, a first-year psychology student from Brandon, Fla. “I had a bunch of long-sleeved stuff and it was hot. It is changing. My mom said that when she came here it was cold till May.”

Tallahassee has a greater range of temperature than most of the state. Wool said parts of central Florida enjoy more influence from the ocean and Gulf of Mexico sea breezes and thunderstorms that cool the areas.

“One of the coldest parts of the state in the winter and one of the hottest in the summer,” Wool said about Tallahassee. “For spring, we are kind of average for the state, but once we get into summer we are one of the hottest parts up here in the Panhandle.”

Some students think the heat can be enjoyable. Many students deal with the heat by drinking plenty of water and sports drinks to up their electrolytes.

“I’m from Chicago, so heat this early is never easy to deal with,” said Samantha Thompson, 22, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Chicago. “But you just have to enjoy it, but also be safe.”