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Weather: Cold will plague Tampa Bay all week; shelters opening

Tampa Bay wasn't immune to the wall of winter storms that slammed much of the Northeast on Tuesday.

Overnight lows dipped into the 30s along the North Suncoast on Tuesday night after a cold front swept through the panhandle and into the bay area. Here are overnight lows:

Tampa: 44 degrees

St. Petersburg: 49 degrees

Brooksville: 37 degrees

New Port Richey: 44 degrees

Clearwater: 47 degrees

The same band of winter weather dumped more than a foot of snow on Philadelphia on Tuesday and brought inches of accumulation across the Midwest and Northeast. Many flights to locations including New York and Boston were grounded Tuesday, and Tampa International Airport's online board showed more than 20 cancelled flights by 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service predicted continued snowfall and bitter cold this morning for portions of New England, calling for as much as a foot and a half of accumulation.

Daytime highs in Tampa Bay today will only reach the low 50s, nearly 20 degrees lower than Tuesday's high. Lows tonight will dip into the mid to upper 20s, Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez said.

Freeze watches have been extended for inland Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Hard freeze warnings are in place for Hernando and Citrus counties, and wind chill advisories for tonight cover much of the area as well. Marquez said those worried about plants should cover them tonight, as frost is possible even in places without freeze watches or warnings.

Below-freezing temperatures often prompt precautionary measures for local farmers and could mean dangerous conditions for the homeless and those without heat. Pinellas County announced cold night shelters would open in several locations to provide a hot dinner, warm beds and breakfast beginning at 6 p.m. today.

Weather: Cold will plague Tampa Bay all week; shelters opening 01/22/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 10:56am]
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