You might rememeber last spring that I had a blog entry on the impact of the new airport on reporting temperatures and how they might compare to the temperatures reported at the old airport. If not... get a refresher here....
I have noticed during this recent cold snap that the temperature at the new airport is significantly lower than other coastal temperatures and more similar with inland reporting stations.
Notice that ECP's 47 is more similar to Dothan's 45, Marianna's 48, and Tallahassee's 44 than Destin's 56 or Apalachicola's 51.
The reason in this case... the northerly winds. Northerly winds in Destin bring the air across the Choctawhatchee Bay toward the Destin airport on the south side of the bay. The old airport in Panama City was located directly on the bay (see picture below). The new one is on the north side of the bay. So a northerly wind now does not cross the water. Before, it would cut across North Bay before reaching the airport.
While there is no longer a reporting station at the old airport I did a search for a station on the south side of the bay and found one at Colony Club near Breakfast Point. That station reported a low of 56 this morning!!! That is 9 degrees warmer than the official 47 at ECP!!!!
Needless to say, it will be a challenge to communicate temperature forecasts over the months ahead... especially south of the bays near the water! Also, you can throw the records out the window from PFN... I have a feeling they would be shattered regularly this winter if we tried to use them in comparison to the new airport temperature reports!
So, on my nightly weathercasts this winter pay attention to the reporting temperatures when we have a north wind... you will now know why they seem odd!
Have a safe weekend coming up!