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Freeze warning issued to Pasco, Hernando for Saturday night

Temperatures won’t be as cold as Friday night — but it could get close in some areas.

A freeze warning was issued to Pasco and Hernando counties for Saturday night as temperatures are expected to hover around 30 there, said Tony Hurt of the National Weather Service.

It’s the second night in a row the warnings have been issued. Saturday night is not expected to get as cold as it did in the early hours of Saturday morning, however, when temperatures reached 27 in Brooksville.

Hillsborough and Pinellas counties will have lows in the mid-30s overnight Saturday, according to the weather service, with Tampa International Airport projected to get as cold as 37. Other inland parts of Hillsborough are expected to reach 33. There will be clear skies above and no chance of rain.

The chilly temperatures came to our region late on Christmas Eve behind a string of severe thunderstorms. The worst of the cold front was in the early hours of Saturday morning, however, and high temperatures should return to average — 74 degrees in Tampa for December — by Monday.

“This is definitely going to be the last night of the freeze warnings and temps this week,” Hurt said. “Tonight is the last night of cold temps and then we can all start thawing out a little bit.”

Monday will have a low of 54 for Tampa and a high of 73, Hurt said. The rest of the week will be more of the same, with the only exception being New Year’s Eve on Thursday.

That’s when forecasters anticipate another line of storms could descend upon our region and spoil fireworks. The weather service has given Thursday night a 50 percent chance of rain with a low of 58.

There is some solace to the New Year Eve’s forecast, however. Hurt said the showers don’t appear to be “ominous,” and that they’re unlikely to bring any high winds like the recent storms.

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