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Warmer, less windy weather coming to Tampa Bay

It's another unusually cold morning, but normal March weather is in sight.

Most of Tampa Bay, excluding Pinellas County, woke up to a freeze warning early Friday that would last until 8 a.m., said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

Temperatures were around the upper 30s and mid 40s about 6:40 a.m. Friday, with Tampa at 41 degrees and St. Petersburg at 48. Wesley Chapel and Brandon had freezing temperatures, and Brooksville was at 27 degrees.

The weather forced strawberry farmers to turn on their sprinklers, a standard practice for a one- or two-night freeze.

Carl Grooms, owner of Fancy Farms in Plant City, showered his strawberry plants for several hours to coat them with a protective ice layer. There was heavy frost on his farm overnight, so he showered his strawberry plants from 2 a.m. Friday until 7 a.m.

"It eventually went on down to 28 degrees," he said.

There was some fog around the Interstate 4 corridor, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The afternoon should climb to about 60 degrees, she said. It will still be breezy, especially around the coast, but the winds have calmed to about 10 miles per hour.

"It's not going to be quite as cool as the last two afternoons," Marquez said.

Still, the chilly weather is far from the day's average high of 75.

It will get cold again Friday night, dropping down to the upper 30s and mid 40s around Tampa Bay.

It will only get warmer from there.

Saturday afternoon should be mostly sunny, hitting the mid 60s, she said. Sunday could reach 70 degrees.

The work week will get off to the toastiest start we've seen in a while. Temperatures are expected to hit the mid 70s Monday and Tuesday.

"Basically, March weather will arrive next week," she said.

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Warmer, less windy weather coming to Tampa Bay 03/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 5, 2010 8:01am]

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