MIAMI (CAP) - Area meteorologists are warning sun-weary residents to prepare for yet another day of sunshine and 80-degree temperatures in a winter that has already seen record-breaking good weather.
"We're looking at a long-duration solar event," National Weather Service meteorologist David Crimmins reported. "Residents need to take precautions and prepare themselves for a stretch of good weather the likes of which we have not seen in these parts for weeks."
Forecasters are predicting that heightened solar glare will make for hazardous road conditions during the morning commute. Fla. Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement late last night, reminding state workers that they were expected to report to work despite the weather conditions.
"State offices and public schools will remain open," Scott said in the statement. "However, we urge commuters to use extreme caution should travel conditions deteriorate. As always, public safety is our top priority."
Long lines formed at local supermarkets as residents rushed to stock up on essentials before the predicted fifth day of sunshine hit. Many stores reported depleted supplies of hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice cream sandwiches. Widespread shortages of sunscreen and sunglasses were also becoming a problem, particularly in coastal areas where concerns have been mounting over the impact of yet another sunny day on the area's already busy beaches.
"Parking's been a nightmare," said one sunburned beach parking lot attendant. "People are fighting over spots and once they find one, they don't want to give it up. We've got guys leaving beach chairs in the spots to save them for when they come back the next day. Once you get a spot, you don't let it go."
Other beachgoers are equally frustrated, as four straight days of blue skies have begun to take a toll, both physically and mentally. Kelly, who called in sick to work and therefore asked that CAP News not use her last name, shared her frustrations with the region's latest stretch of nice weather from her beach towel.
"The sun is so bright; I can't even see the screen on my iPhone," Kelly noted. "Seriously, how am I supposed to update my Facebook status like this? I've got a rash from sand in my bathing suit, my arms are sore from lugging the cooler through the parking lot, I've got funny looking tan lines from my flip-flops, and I'm sick of shaving my legs every day.
"I don't know how much more of this I can take," Kelly added before breaking down and sobbing.
Seven year old Jimmy Peterson shared a similar sentiment, complaining that his mom keeps making him go outside to play.
"I'm tired of swimming and riding my bike," Jimmy said. "I just want to watch Spongebob. I'm ready for the sun to go away."
Long-range forecast models indicate Floridians may be in a continued pattern of warm temperatures and sunshine until at least the end of February.
- CAP News Staff