Cooler weather enroute in Tampa Bay area; a mix elsewhere

Record heat of the past few days is about to give way to considerably cooler temperatures that will feel a little more like Christmas.

In Florida.

Much of the country would crave our weather.

The first full day of winter brought snow, ice and flooding to parts of the Midwest and Northeast, and some people could be left in the dark for Christmas.

In the Tampa Bay area, temperatures should climb into the 80s again Monday before a cool front moves in after sundown. Forecasters predict a 50 percent chance of rain.

Behind the rain will be cooler, drier air that will drop daytime highs on Christmas Eve day into the high 60s. Overnight lows will dip into the 40s in most of Tampa Bay and the 30s in Hernando and Citrus counties.

Christmas Day will bring a high temperature in the low 70s with overnight temperatures dipping into the 50s. On Thursday, rain chances will increase to 40 percent, followed by more dry air and highs in the low 70s or high 60s through the week.

Beyond Florida, the weather is both severe and strange.

Hundreds of thousands of people from Michigan to Maine remained without power Monday morning after a storm that dropped up to 2 inches of ice in some places.

Michigan's largest utilities say it will be days before most of those blacked out get their power back.

Ice and snow also knocked out power to scores of homes in upstate New York and northern New England - about half of whom had their power back by early Monday.

The storm also left more than 400,000 customers without electricity in eastern Canada.

At least nine deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the storm, including five people killed in flooding in Kentucky and a woman who died after a tornado with winds of 130 mph struck in Arkansas. Five people were killed in Canada in highway accidents related to the storm.

Meanwhile, record high temperatures were reached in some Mid-Atlantic states this weekend.

On Sunday, the mercury reached 70 degrees in New York's Central Park, easily eclipsing the previous high of 63 from 1998. Records were also set in Wilmington, Del., (67), Atlantic City, N.J., (68), and Philadelphia (67). Washington tied its 1889 mark at 72.

But temperatures were expected to drop back to the mid-30s by Monday night.

Cooler weather enroute in Tampa Bay area; a mix elsewhere 12/23/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 23, 2013 11:25am]

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