Relief from a chilly start to the Tampa Bay area's week is coming, but a frigid Gasparilla looms
Parts of the region were under a freeze warning Monday morning. After some moderate warming this week, a cold front will send temperatures plummeting by the end of the week.
The greater Tampa Bay region is waking up Monday to the coldest weather of the winter.
And while there will be a bit of a reprieve later this week, the region will have to contend with some rain on Tuesday before another frigid blast could send temperatures plummeting in time for this weekend’s Gasparilla Pirate Fest.
A freeze warning is in effect across the Nature Coast and inland Pasco County until 8 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Overnight lows have fallen into the upper 20s in northern and inland areas — and near freezing across much of the region — and residents could be seeing frost before sunrise.
The falling temperatures prompted counties across the region to open cold-weather shelters Sunday night.
A high pressure system will keep temperatures down on Monday, with highs in the low-60s in the immediate Tampa Bay area under partly cloudy skies, and cooler to the north. Lows will drop into the upper 40s.
A disturbance in Texas will move across the Gulf of Mexico on Monday night into Tuesday, increasing clouds and bringing a chance for showers and a few thunderstorms, forecasters say.
As it tracks through the state, slightly warmer temperatures will follow, with highs creeping back up into the mid- to upper-60s and more moderate lows in the low 50s.
Forecasters say the next cold front will arrive this weekend with the best chance of showers on Friday, followed by clearing skies in time for Gasparilla on Saturday — but with another arctic blast that will bring similar conditions to the start of the work week.
Parts of the Nature Coast could experience more freezing temperatures on Saturday night, and high across much of the region will once again struggle to reach 60.