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Cold temperatures creep across Florida and Tampa Bay

TAMPA — While a blizzard brought hardship in the north Saturday, Florida dealt with harsh cold wind and an oddity:

Snow flurries in Gainesville.

Floridians may well remember this cold January week: Temperatures were predicted to dip below freezing overnight Saturday in Citrus, Hernando and inland Pasco counties.

A windchill advisory was set over most of Tampa Bay until 9 a.m. today, said 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Kate Wentzel.

The freeze warning in Pasco, Hernando and Pasco counties, though, is a bit more serious, Wentzel said.

"There could be damage to crops when temperatures get that cold," she said.

A freeze warning goes out when there's potential for temperatures to hover between 27 and 32 degrees for more than two hours, Wentzel said.

Saturday night's forecast in Hillsborough County was a low of 33 degrees with a windchill of 27, according to the National Weather Service. In Pinellas, a low of 36 degrees with a windchill of 29 was expected.

A small craft advisory is in effect for the Gulf of Mexico through this morning.

In Gainesville, the University of Florida Weather Center reported flurries Saturday morning after the cold front moved through the state Friday.

In Tampa Bay, high winds reaching 50 mph closed the Sunshine Skyway bridge before 9 a.m. Saturday. It was open by noon.

High winds and rough seas delayed the Carnival Paradise from docking at Port Tampa for 10 hours, the cruise line said.

Severe snowfall and ice in other parts of the country forced hundreds of flights to be canceled at major airports across Florida.

At Tampa International Airport, 99 arriving or departing flights were canceled and 33 were delayed by 7:30 p.m., according online flight tracker FlightAware.

Cold temperatures creep across Florida and Tampa Bay 01/23/16 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2016 10:19pm]
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