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Shelters Open As Colder Weather Arrives

National Weather Service

Cold weather shelters are open across the Tampa Bay area as some of the coldest air of this season arrives. 

The National Weather Service in Ruskin reports lows will be in the upper 30s and low 40s from Lee County north throughout the Tampa Bay region. Freeze warnings are in effect for Wednesday morning for Hernando, Citrus and Levy counties.

Daytime highs will reach only into the upper 50s to mid 60s, which the Weather Service says is about 8- to 10-degrees below normal.

Multiple shelters across Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties opened Monday night and are expected to remain open as the high-pressure system brings colder temperatures to the area.

For more information about the shelters, visit the following links:

Hillsborough County

Pinellas County

Pasco County

The cold weather arrived in a torrent in the early morning hours of Sunday. Tornadoes through Manatee and Sarasota counties are responsible for the deaths of two people and the destruction of homes throughout the area.

“I’m not surprised we’ve had tornado outbreaks here in the state. We’ve been talking about it for weeks, if not months, that a strong El Nino correlates to an increase in severe weather in Florida,” said Jeff Huffman, chief meteorologist for the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

“It could happen again in the next few weeks thanks to our very active jet stream across the southern end of the United States.”

Huffman said Floridians should remain on alert.

“Our next storm system doesn’t arrive until Friday. It’s going to be aimed more at the northern and central parts of the state. There’s a good chance of showers and thunderstorms returning then,” he said.

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