Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Expect wintry feel in Hernando for a couple of days

BROOKSVILLE — Time to prepare extra pots of broccoli and cheese soup, bring in those iguanas and bundle up tight for the night.

Hernando County and the rest of the Nature Coast are about to endure their first bout of wintry weather.

The National Weather Service is predicting lows in the upper 20s this morning and Wednesday morning, the chilly temperatures a remnant of a cold front that swept through the Tampa Bay area over the weekend.

Temperatures should rebound into the 60s during the daytime, and by Thursday residents can again trade winter coats for T-shirts.

"It's the first winter blast that we've recorded this season," said Anthony Reynes, a meteorologist with the National Weather service in Ruskin. "But this isn't something we'd consider out of the ordinary for mid November. This is the time to have these cold fronts."

At the Rising Sun Cafe in downtown Brooksville, employee Gail Witek said a steady stream of customers came in for hot bowls of soup on Monday. Broccoli and cheese is served on Mondays and Thursdays, French onion on Tuesdays and Fridays, and baked potato on Wednesday.

"We're always prepared," Witek said. "We don't like to run out."

Kathy Oleson, owner of Boyett's Grove in Spring Lake, said she wasn't expecting enough of a chill to damage any of her crops. However, the iguanas, birds and monkeys that populate the property must be brought in at night to escape the cold.

There's also a bright side to the brief brush with cold for Oleson: The chill combines with the ethylene in the fruit to make the oranges more orange and the grapefruits more yellow.

"It makes the fruit really pretty," Oleson said.

County officials didn't have plans to open a shelter as a result of the brief cold snap but noted that Jericho Road Ministries in Brooksville would be available for those seeking refuge.

Reynes advised residents to simply stay out of the cold, bring in pets and sensitive plants for the night, and beware of starting fires in these dry conditions.

"We have very, very good conditions for wildfires to start," Reynes said. "It's important for people to not start fires outside for the next two or three days."

Joel Anderson can be reached at or (352) 754-6120.

fast facts

How to protect yourself, pipes and plants

During the cold snap, residents are urged to protect themselves, as well as their pets, vegetation and pipes, from the freezing weather. Here is some advice from the experts:

Protecting yourself: For anyone who is outdoors for an extended period of time, the National Weather Service recommends that they wear extra layers of clothing. People using space heaters are reminded that the heaters can be fire hazards. Keep linens, blankets, curtains and other flammable materials away from them.

Protecting pipes: To prevent freezing and possible bursting, the weather service recommends that outdoor pipes be wrapped, drained or allowed to drip slowly. Homeowners with in-ground sprinkler systems should drain the systems or cover any above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.

Protecting plants: John Korycki, coordinator of the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods program for the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, has these tips for plants:

• If covering plants, try to avoid using plastics, which transfer cold easily and can burn the leaves. Make sure that covers extend to the ground, and that there is as little contact as possible with the foliage.

• Avoid pruning or fertilizing plants at this time of the year because those practices stimulate new growth. New growth is the most cold-sensitive part of the plant and can freeze easily.

• Avoid leaving covers on your plants for multiple days. Air flow is needed for plant health. If there are multiple cold nights, remove the covers during the day.

• Do not attempt to protect plants with water or ice. This practice is very complicated and not practical for home gardeners.

• Avoid taking immediate action if plants appear to have been affected by the cold. Leaf drop or yellowing does not necessarily mean that the plant has died.

Expect wintry feel in Hernando for a couple of days 11/17/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.