Don’t put away those sweaters and winter jackets just yet.
The last gasp of winter will grab Tampa Bay at the end of this month, ending a run of warm spring temperatures in the mid-80s.
Spectrum Bay News 9 forecaster Nick Merianos said he expects a cold front to sweep into the region late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, dropping temperatures into the 30s and 40s.
The cold will last through the weekend and possibly into next week, Merianos said, with highs reaching the upper 50s or 60s.
The coldest day of the cold snap is expected to be Thursday, with lows dropping to the mid-30s in Citrus and Hernando counties and reaching the 40s throughout Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas. Merianos doesn’t expect temperatures to dip below freezing in the bay area’s northern counties — but it could get close.
“It’s a possibility (there could be a freeze), but it’ll likely be slightly above that," he said. "The best bet is in the mid-30s, not below freezing.”
Floridians don’t usually experience much cold weather this time of year. But this front is arriving on the heels of weeks of weather in the mid-80s, Merianos said, so the air will feel especially cold.
“Our average high temperature right now is around 74 degrees," he said. "Considering how warm it has been for most of the month, with all of this following at least a two-week period of warmth, it will make it feel a bit colder than it really is.”
But along with the cold comes a strong chance of rain Tuesday night, Merianos said, leading to especially miserable conditions. There will be an up to 70 percent chance of rain — and perhaps thundershowers — for an 18-hour window starting Tuesday night through Wednesday.
The weather should dry out after that, so then everyone just has to worry about the cold.