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Bundle up tonight; freeze warnings issued

You thought this morning was cold? Just wait.

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for Hernando, Pasco and Hillsborough counties that will start Thursday night until Friday morning.

In Tampa, it'll hit the low 30s just before dawn, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Mike Clay, with some outlying areas seeing thermometers dip into the 20s.

And in warmer Pinellas County, "it gets complicated," Clay said, with warmer low 40s near the water and 30s inland, bringing the possibility of patchy frost.

Thursday morning saw temperatures at 46 degrees in Tampa and 49 in St. Petersburg, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez. Brandon, Wesley Chapel and other areas north and east of Tampa Bay were near 40 degrees.

Winds were about 10 to 20 mph, she said, and they were stronger near the coast, with gusts of 25 mph at Clearwater Beach.

Friday should be slightly warmer and bring less wind than Thursday, but "it's still going to be a chilly afternoon," she said.

Marquez expects a cool weekend, with afternoon temperatures in the low to mid 60s and mornings in the low 40s.

Saturday's forecast shows a 50 percent chance of rain and possible thunderstorms, but Sunday looks dry and sunny with highs near the mid 60s.

"That will be the pick day of the weekend," she said.

Next week should start a little warmer, with temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s Monday, she said.

But will it last?

Nope.

A low-pressure system will move through the Tampa Bay area next week, she said, bringing rain on Tuesday and cold air behind that for a few days.

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Bundle up tonight; freeze warnings issued 02/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 25, 2010 3:57pm]
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