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Weather brings blahs

A cold front stalled over Florida on Wednesday, dropping a pall of mist, filling the sky with gray and leaving plenty of people feeling blah.

"A lot of us feel something almost like a blanket of depression over us in weather like this," said University of South Florida psychologist Miles Hardy. "There have been studies done about what a lack of sunlight can do to the body."

The front _ a wedge of cold air under a layer of warm air _ plopped down on Florida a couple days ago and probably won't budge until later today, said Charles Paxton, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

Even then, the dreary weather may not be gone for long. A similar front is expected to arrive Saturday, Paxton said.

So, what can you do to overcome the blues from the rain?

Hardy, a clinical psychologist, recommends taking action to overcome the feelings of laziness and powerlessness.

"Do anything to get the adrenalin going," Hardy said. "Maybe that means planning a vacation or planning a dinner. Or maybe it means calling an old boyfriend."

And, Hardy said, ask yourself what life would be like if the world was always 80 degrees, dry and sunny?

"The only way we really appreciate the good weather is to have the bad," he said.

For those who thought it was chilly Wednesday, the mercury wouldn't agree. The chilliest it got was 63 degrees before dawn, Paxton said. Wednesday afternoon, it was 80.

The rain and lack of sunlight may have made temperatures feel colder than they really were, Paxton said. "It was actually fairly warm today."

Floridians, as a group, are spoiled when it comes to weather, Hardy said.

If you doubt that, look around the country.

On Wednesday, mounds of snow _ yes, snow _ fell from the northern Rockies to the Plains.

_ MONICA DAVEY

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