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Cold front will drop temperatures from record high to near-record lows

Stephen Lintner of St. Pete Beach carries his friend’s 10-year-old son, Aaron Fraser, into the water at Pass-a-Grille beach on Tuesday. The week’s balmy weather — Monday’s high temperature in Tampa set a record — will end starting today.

KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times

Stephen Lintner of St. Pete Beach carries his friend’s 10-year-old son, Aaron Fraser, into the water at Pass-a-Grille beach on Tuesday. The week’s balmy weather — Monday’s high temperature in Tampa set a record — will end starting today.

For those of you delighted with this week's balmy mornings, Thursday may come as somewhat of a shock.

About 30 degrees, in fact.

A cold front moving into the Tampa Bay area will drop Thursday morning temperatures into the 40s and bring significantly cooler weather through the week. Overnight low temperatures could hit the freezing mark in some areas immediately north of the Tampa Bay area.

"It's going to be a shock to the system, no question about it,'' said Mike Clay, chief meteorologist for Bay News 9.

The cooler weather will begin arriving early Wednesday with scattered thunderstorms and wind gusts of 20 mph. Overnight, cooler and drier air will move in.

That will leave daytime highs in the upper 60s or low 70s through the week for most of the Tampa Bay area.

Overnight lows will be in the 40s or 50s, with the coldest weather coming Thursday morning, when temperatures will be in the low 40s in Tampa and in the 30s in parts of Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

The cold probably won't break any records, although overnight lows will be as much as 15 degrees below normal.

The cold front is expected only two days after a record high temperature for Tampa, 86 degrees on Nov. 29, breaking the record of 85 set in 1985, according to the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

The sudden change reflects a year of topsy-turvy weather in the Tampa Bay area, which endured its coldest winter on record, followed by it hottest summer on record.

"The temperatures have been wild this year,'' Clay said. "The thing you have to remember is that in our tropical climate, we've got a lot more room to go down on the cold end than we do on the hot end."

Cold front will drop temperatures from record high to near-record lows 11/30/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 7:44am]
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