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Record-breaking arctic blast will chill eastern U.S. this week. Even Florida.

Tampa Bay might not freeze this week, but we’ll get the coldest temperatures of the season so far as they dip well below normal.
An arctic blast will chill the eastern U.S. this week and send temperatures in Florida well below normal on Wednesday. [National Weather Service]
An arctic blast will chill the eastern U.S. this week and send temperatures in Florida well below normal on Wednesday. [National Weather Service]
Published Nov. 12
Updated Nov. 12

An arctic blast is plunging temperatures across the eastern U.S. this week and even Florida won’t be spared from the cold.

Wednesday’s temperatures in Tampa Bay are expected to be the lowest of the season so far, dropping 10 degrees below normal values, according to the National Weather Service. Wednesday’s low is expected to reach the upper 50s, while high temperatures may barely break into the 70s. It might not be freezing, but it’s a significant cooldown from the average low near 60 and average high of around 80.

“We’re looking at a little bit more of a potent cold front coming through our area late Tuesday,” Weather Service forecaster Dustin Norman said. “It won’t be overly impressive, but it’ll cool down our area. Up north you’re looking at freezes in Alabama, the panhandle and possibly southern Georgia.”

While the arctic blast might be bringing some pleasant weather to Tampa Bay, elsewhere in the state and country people are preparing for intense cold. The Weather Service said the blast is “likely to break hundreds of cold temperature records, and bring freezes down to parts of the Gulf coast.”

This week’s weather event, Norman said, comes courtesy of some cold wind in Canada and the jet stream dipping south. The wind is able to break free and gets carried south by the stream, bringing with it some of the first solid cooldowns and snow events of the season. The jet stream itself only dips down to the northern Gulf coast and panhandle area before riding north along the eastern seaboard. But its enough to reinforce a seasonal cold front pushing down to Florida, as they do on an almost weekly basis during this time of year.

Temperatures should warm slightly Thursday, ahead of another cold front, setting up a pattern of pleasant temperatures.

“At least for another week,” Norman said. “It is Florida.”

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