MANATEE - The mercury hit 85 degrees at 2:19 p.m. today at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, setting an all-time record for high temperature for a Jan. 10.
The previous record high for Jan. 10 was 83 degrees in 1989, said Tom Dougherty, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
Dougherty thought the mercury could even climb higher before the day was over, given the lack of wind or cloud cover."We have a few more hours of heating, so it could change," Dougherty said at 3 p.m.
The high reading is part of a winter heat spell which will continue for a few more days, said Brian McClure, a meteorologist with Bay News 9.
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"I think we will sustain this warm, tranquil weather," McClure said. "It's a normal situation. We have these warm periods in the winter. It's based on where the jet stream is aligning itself. We saw this was going to happen a week and a half ago. It's not just a Florida thing, it's all across the Southeast."
McClure doesn't expect a change in the mid-80 afternoons unless a wind or cloud cover moves in.
"But it doesn't look like much will change for awhile," McClure said. "The next best chance for rain is next week. This is a good time for the beach. The water temperatures are in the 60s, but there will be warmth and a nice breeze."