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Cover Up, Then Bundle Up: When Some Turbulent Christmas Weather Will Arrive In Tampa Bay

Wind chill chart for Tampa
National Weather Service
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It will start with possible sea fog on Christmas Eve morning, followed by rain, potentially strong storms, and a cold Christmas Day and weekend.

Wednesday promises the last sense of weather normalcy for a few days as an approaching cold front will produce a turbulent Christmas holiday.

This includes a wet Christmas Eve with potentially powerful storms, followed by a brutally cold – by Florida standards – Christmas Day and into the weekend.

After a chilly morning, temperatures on Wednesday will rise to above normal, with highs in the mid-to-upper 70s with increasing moisture, according to the National Weather Service.

Conditions turn ugly on Christmas Eve as a cold front that’s stretching across the nation dips down into the state and approaches the region, bringing morning sea fog followed by increasing rain chances.

Ray Hawthorne, meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, said it will produce strong storms by Christmas Eve night before the rain eases and the chill arrives on Christmas Day.

“Storms are expected in the Florida Panhandle prior to dawn Thursday morning, reaching Florida’s Big Bend and North Florida during the daylight hours of Thursday,” Hawthorne said. “The line should be near I-4 early Thursday evening before weakening in South Florida prior to midnight Thursday night.”

Hawthorne said the storms could produce a few reports of wind damage or isolated tornadoes as it sweeps through the state.

He expects widespread sub-freezing temperatures Christmas morning and Saturday morning north of I-4, with the chance of frost over the interior of the peninsula. He says wind chills at or below 40 degrees are likely over South Florida to start the weekend.

Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.

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