Hard freeze warning posted for North Florida as polar front blasts state
Cold weather looms over North Florida as National Weather Service forecasters issue hard freeze warning.

Heavy rains are also affecting parts of the state.

National Weather Service (NWS) officials are posting freeze and hard freeze warnings for North Florida south to areas of Central Florida as this winter’s coldest temperatures so far are barreling into the Sunshine State.

Temperatures are projected to dip well into the 20s Tuesday night heading into Wednesday morning. NWS officials at their office in Tallahassee said, “Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 20 are expected.”

Forecasters at that office said a polar frontal system sweeping across the eastern seaboard will impact areas from Alabama into Southeastern Georgia, all of North Florida along the Interstate 10 corridor, and the Big Bend area into Central Florida, going as far south as Ocala and Flagler Beach on the east coast.

Officials at the Jacksonville post of the NWS said “dangerously cold temps” into the 20s could prove even more threatening as wind chill effects could make the temperature seem as cold as 15 degrees in some areas.

The frontal system moving through the Southeast U.S. has already produced some heavy rains in Florida’s Panhandle and significant downpours were already hitting Florida’s First Coast by mid-morning Tuesday. The heavy rains have also prompted some flood warnings in Florida, which, in some areas, are still recovering from a powerful winter storm which plowed through the state last week when several tornadoes touched down in North Florida.

Flood warnings were issued by the NWS for the Santa Fe River basin of Florida and low-lying areas could see high waters as the current front marches through the state.

While the temperatures are expected to rebound to more seasonal marks Wednesday night into Thursday, the NWS is projecting yet another hard freeze warning to return to North Florida Friday and Saturday nights in what promises to be a blustery and cold weekend as another front is forecast to move through the state.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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