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Coldest Air of Winter Arrives Early Next Week in Florida

Record-breaking warmth experienced this week in Florida is likely to be replaced by colder-than-normal temperatures early next week. Multiple freezes are even possible across the northern third of the state, as arctic air surges in behind a strong cold front over the weekend.

A strong storm system was developing over the Central Plains Friday, and it should move into the Midwest on Saturday. It will likely create blizzard conditions in the Dakotas and Minnesota, while at same time produce heavy rain and thunderstorms across the Mid-South and Ohio Valley. A strong front associated with the storm system will approach the Florida Panhandle Saturday evening, before sweeping across the rest of the state Sunday.

A brief period of heavy rain, or even a few thunderstorms, are expected to mark the arrival of the front Sunday. However, the most notable impacts will come behind it. The front will carve out a path that gives arctic air from Canada a free pass to move deep into the Southeast U.S. Both surface and upper-level winds are forecast to support the intrusion of an air mass that is 10 to 15 degrees below normal for the time of year.

The coldest air will likely arrive Monday night and Tuesday morning, when temperatures are projected to fall into the 30’s as far south as the I-4 corridor from Tampa to Orlando. A freeze is possible across the Florida Panhandle and along the I-10 corridor, where morning lows Monday could dip into the upper 20s and lower 30s. A second freeze is also likely for the same areas, and maybe even a few miles farther south, on Tuesday morning. Afternoon highs will likely only reach the 40s 50s in these locations Tuesday and Wednesday, which is a 30-degree difference from what was experienced this past week.

The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will provide updates on specific temperature forecasts and possible watches or warnings related to the freeze as the event draws closer. You can also keep tabs on your latest 7-day forecast in our mobile app Florida Storms.

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Megan Borowski
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