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A Late-Season Freeze and Bitter Wind Chills Expected Tonight in Florida

Winter has made a comeback in Florida. Freeze Warnings have been issued from Jacksonville to Pensacola, and a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect tonight as far south as Orlando.

Temperatures will fall below freezing for several hours Tuesday night in the Florida Panhandle, where overnight lows are likely to dip into the upper 20's in many spots. Subfreezing temperatures are also likely as far south as Alachua, inland Levy, and Citrus counties of North Florida. The Freeze Warning includes portions of the Jacksonville metro area west of the St. Johns River, but it does not include locations along the First Coast.

In addition to the very cold temperatures, a steady breeze from the north will make it feel even colder. Wind chills will be a factor Wednesday morning across the entire Florida peninsula. A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for portions of Central Florida from Tampa to Orlando, and as far south as Arcadia and Sebring. Apparent temperatures in the advised area are expected to drop to between 25 and 35 degrees between 5 and 9 am Wednesday. Wind chills in the 30's will be possible as far south as Fort Myers, with 40's likely near the Miami and West Palm Beach metro areas.

It's not uncommon for the northern third of Florida to experience a freeze this late in the winter season. Gainesville, for example, has an average last freeze date of March 6. The projected numbers, however, are well below the 30-year average for this time of year in most of Florida. The cool weather is expected to linger into Wednesday and Wednesday night, when another freeze or frost is possible across the northern third of the state.  Warmer temperatures are in the forecast by the weekend.

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