Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bundle up as temperatures go way down

If you thought last week was frigid, get ready for even colder weather this week.

The coldest temperatures of the season are expected in the Tampa Bay area tonight.

A freeze watch will take effect for Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, while inland Hillsborough County could see lows bottom out in the 30s. Coastal areas likely will dip into the 40s.

But could it be cold enough to snow?

"There's a very, very, very slight off chance of snow flurries," said National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Colson. "It would most likely occur in the overnight hours, if it happens at all."

The last time the Tampa Bay area had snow was 1989. The last time it stuck to the ground was Jan. 19, 1977, when the temperature sunk to 27.

A cold front sweeping into the area today will keep high temperatures in the 50s. When the sun goes down tonight, the mercury will plummet.

"The next couple of days will actually be colder than last week," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker. "It won't warm up at all (today)."

Forecasters expect Wednesday to be even colder, with temperatures plunging below 30 in some areas.

The high Thursday should creep into the 60s, and by Friday highs are expected to peak at about 70. Weekend highs are expected in the low 70s, which is about normal.

Until the warmup, Tampa Bay area residents should cover their plants and keep pets inside, forecasters said. Officials also are advising the homeless to head to shelters.

Local nurseries said they advise people to use fabric rather than plastic to cover plants.

"If you cover them with plastic … it'll lose the insulation," said Scott Geisler, a worker at Willow Tree Nursery in St. Petersburg.

Old sheets, blankets and even cardboard boxes will work fine, he said.

Directly spraying plants with water to create a layer of ice, as is done with strawberries, is more harmful than helpful, he said. Watering the grass, however, could actually help the ground stay warmer throughout the night.

"If the ground is dry, it's full of air, and it cools off faster," Geisler said.

Bundle up as temperatures go way down 01/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 9:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  2. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  3. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  4. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  5. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.