It was another cold one overnight, with temperatures flirting with the freezing mark, but it was expected to warm up before the work day ended.
Monday began with 43 degrees in Tampa and Brandon, 48 in St. Petersburg and 40 in Bradenton, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.
The National Weather Service issued a freeze watch overnight, and that's exactly what farmers did. Watched.
"Yeah, I watched it. I kept right on it, but I didn't end up having to do anything," said strawberry farmer Joe Gude, of Brandon Farms.
Gude kept vigil all night. If the temperature had dipped to freezing, Gude would have turned on the sprinklers to cover his berries with a protective layer of ice.
By 6 a.m., he was tired.
He said there could be a couple of more nights this week of the same routine, but for now the forecast doesn't seem too foreboding.
"I hate it, I dread it, but I don't see it as being a real, real threat. It's just aggravating," Gude said.
Temperatures are expected to get close to 70 degrees by this afternoon, Marquez said.
"We'll have a nice start to our week," she said.
Tomorrow will be a different story. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to roll through the area Monday night and early Tuesday, with another cold front following close behind.
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