How cold was it?
In Tampa, thermometers dipped to 29 degrees overnight heading into Thursday morning, tying with the record low temperature for Jan. 18 in 1981.
It hasn’t been this cold in the city since Jan. 11, 2010, WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Grant Gilmore said. That day temperatures dipped to 25 degrees. It was also cold enough for freeze warnings across the Tampa Bay area that lasted into the morning commute.
The east coast of Central Florida was similarly cold with temperatures hitting 29 in Daytona Beach and 28 in Orlando. Miami hit 44 degrees
How cold did it feel?
WTSP broadcasted this map showing that it felt as cold as 24 degrees in St. Petersburg Thursday morning with the wind chill.
While black ice is a hazard much of the country is familiar with in the colder months, its a true rarity in Florida.
A section of the Veterans Expressway in Tampa was closed Thursday morning after a woman driving a BMW hit a patch of ice near Hutchinson Road and slid into a wall. The woman was okay, but crews at one point shut down both southbound lanes to remove the ice with chisels and salt (and a few of them took a tumble on video).
Be careful! A worker inspecting black ice on Tampa Bay's Veterans Expressway took a tumble. https://t.co/JZt89P2veq— 10News WTSP (@10NewsWTSP) January 18, 2018
Think about it: it's so cold that there's black ice... in Tampa Bay, Florida. Workers since have resorted to scraping the ice away. #FLwx pic.twitter.com/XPm5zNQCis
There has to have been some water from somewhere that got on the road in that one spot and then froze. Conditions are too dry for actual black ice.— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) January 18, 2018
The Florida Highway Patrol said the ice came from a construction truck that leaked water onto the road.
Unusual weather phenomena.
Arctic sea smoke off the Florida coast? Yes, according to the Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel.
Arctic Sea Smoke from Pensacola Beach, FLORIDA! It has to get real cold to see this: 22° air flowing over 64° gulf water this AM will do it ..... and the wind chill was 8°. Even some sleet/snow fell overnight. Video from @davidliberatore #FLwx pic.twitter.com/n1yhGRT3yz— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) January 17, 2018
Here come the cold photos.
Tampa Bay Times photographer Jim Damaske captured these icy photos in Clearwater on Thursday morning.
Ice drips on a hibiscus in a Clearwater garden after sprinklers were on over night as temperatures dropped below freezing Thursday morning 1/18/18. @TB_Times @TBTimesCLW #FREEZE #wx #WinterWeather pic.twitter.com/Fu0ZfLiD1i— jim damaske (@DamaskeJim) January 18, 2018
Keel and Curley winery in Plant City posted these photos of its freeze protected blueberry crops. (There’s ice on the strawberries in Plant City too).
Take a look at our blueberry farm this morning after the cold came by. We freeze protected our crops, but it’s incredibly beautiful. We’ll let you know how our strawberries are after the freeze. #keelandcurley #winter2018 #farm #plantcity #florida #tampabay pic.twitter.com/yqaPmLIu7P— Keel and Curley (@KeelandCurley) January 18, 2018
And there were many many chilling photos from elsewhere around Florida.
Oranges are encrusted in a cocoon of ice this morning after #citrus growers sprayed water overnight to protect their crop at Apopka, #Florida. Temperatures were recorded as low as 25 degrees. #FloridaFreeze pic.twitter.com/usZc0OfHUT— Red Huber (@RedHuber) January 18, 2018
And all the #FloridaFreeze jokes.
Of course everyone seemed to be tweeting the #FloridaFreeze memes because we can’t handle this.
My heater is on because I want to live. #FloridaFreeze— Jorge Delgado (@jd_delgado) January 18, 2018