Freeze watch tonight for areas north of Tampa Bay

Near freezing weather is expected in the Tampa Bay area overnight, with cold weather to follow for the rest of the week.

The National Weather Service issued a freeze watch for areas north of Tampa, near Brooksville and Inverness, for Monday night, said meteorologist Jennifer Colson.

Areas closer to the coast will be warmer — in the upper 30s, Colson said. St. Petersburg will see temperatures near 40 degrees.

Several shelters in Hillsborough will open for homeless or those who live in homes without adequate heat, county officials said. Those include Bethune Park Rural Shelter in Wimauma, the Brandon Community Center and Metropolitan Ministries on Florida Avenue. Officials said emergency shelters in Pinellas had no immediate plans to open for the homeless.

During the day it should warm up, but another cold front coming through on New Year's Eve means 2010 will start with rain and more cold.

"Right around when we're dropping the ball," Colson said.

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Weather shelters will open tonight in Hillsborough County for the homeless and those who live in houses with inadequate heat:

• Bethune Park Rural Shelter, 5809 Edina St. in Wimauma. Opens at 6 p.m. for adults and families. Meals will be provided. Call (813) 671-7618.

• Brandon Community Center, 510 E Sadie St., in Brandon. Opens at 5:30 p.m. for homeless people and families with children. Meals will be provided. Call (813) 635-8179.

• Metropolitan Ministries, 2010 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Opens at 4 p.m. for families. Call (813) 209-1077.

• Salvation Army , 1514 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Opens at 4 p.m. and is only for adults. Call (813) 221-4440.

Freeze watch tonight for areas north of Tampa Bay 12/28/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 28, 2009 4:57pm]

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