A slight breeze, 80-degree temperatures, bright sun glinting against snow white sand: Welcome to winter, Southwest Florida style.
After two consecutive abnormally chilly winters, when beach tourists toted hot toddies instead of cold beer, we start winter today with temperatures much more typical for the season ó even a little on the warm side.
Becky and Dan Morris, vacationing from Omaha, Neb., had no complaints about the heat Tuesday. But they had a hard time acknowledging the start of winter, while sitting in the sun, under a palm tree at Bird Key Park. Their 20 year-old daughter Valerie was learning to scuba dive in the aquamarine water of Sarasota Bay, near the Ringling Causeway.
Warm weather is forecast to continue through Christmas, although temperatures should fall into the more typical mid-to-low 70s by next week.