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Warming trend on the horizon after freezing night

Sexton Elementary fourth-grader Nathan Karcher, 9, heads down 19th Street N in a bulky jacket Monday morning on his way to school.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

Sexton Elementary fourth-grader Nathan Karcher, 9, heads down 19th Street N in a bulky jacket Monday morning on his way to school.

It got cold Sunday night. The type of cold that makes residents question whether they're still living in the Sunshine State.

This is Florida, right?

Another round of frigid cold hit Sunday night, dipping temperatures well into freezing for most of Tampa Bay and prompting some farmers to start spraying their crops to protect against a freeze.

Thonotosassa and Plant City in Hillsborough County were about 30 degrees. In Pasco, Zephryhills also hit 30, said Ernie Jillson, National Weather Service meteorologist.

A freeze warning for Hernando, Citrus, Levy and Sumter Counties was in effect Monday morning until 10 a.m., Jillson said.

The coldest city nearby was Hernando at 24 degrees Monday morning, followed by Crystal River at 27 degrees, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

Peggy Parke, owner of Parkesdale Farms in Plant City, said the weather was mild compared to the freeze that came through in mid February. However, the farm did spray the fruit bound for festivals.

Another Plant City business, Fancy Farms, weighed the risks and didn't spray water on its crops.

"There were a lot of growers that did run this morning," said Carl Grooms, farm owner. "I was just taking a chance to gamble on it."

Temperatures should climb into the mid 70s by Tuesday night, Jillson said. Another cold front will move through Tuesday night, leaving the highs on Wednesday in the 60s.

Warming trend on the horizon after freezing night 03/04/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 12:14pm]
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