A Late-Season Freeze and Bitter Wind Chills Catch Up With Florida

Mar 6, 2019

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

Temperatures fell below freezing for several hours Tuesday night in the Florida Panhandle, where overnight lows dipped into the upper 20's in many spots. Subfreezing temperatures were registered as far south as Alachua, inland Levy, and Citrus counties of North Florida. The Freeze Warning included 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 makes it feel even colder this Wednesday. Wind chills will be a factor this 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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