2020 was the second-warmest year on record, and 2021 is off to a chilly start. Tampa Bay will see its first significant cold front of year this weekend.
Temperatures could dip into the mid-30s for most of Tampa Bay on Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service, while Tampa’s high isn’t expected to reach 60 all day.
Saturday night will be the coldest point of the front, which will remain through Sunday morning. A frost advisory was issued in Hernando and Citrus counties, said weather service meteorologist Keily Delerme, prompting both to open cold-weather shelters.
Delerme said Pinellas County will be the warmest of the area’s counties and could stay out of the 30s altogether on Saturday night because of its proximity to the coast. The coldest temperatures will be inland in Hernando, Pasco and Hillsborough counties.
Still, Pinellas — like the rest of the region — is still expected to have its coldest day of the year to date. St. Petersburg’s coldest temperature of 2021 so far was 47 degrees on Jan. 5. The low for Saturday is 39, according to Spectrum Bay News 9.
Rain accompanied this latest cold front, which arrived Thursday night but won’t be hanging around, according to Delerme. There will be no chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday.
Even as daily highs rise to 72 in Tampa Bay by Monday, we’re expected to remain relatively dry to start next week. Rain chances at just 20 percent for Monday and Tuesday.
This weekend’s cold front isn’t likely to be a one-off, according to Meteorologist Brian McClure of Bay News 9. He expects another front will enter the area next week and could bring even lower temperatures — though it’s too early to tell just how much colder.
“It looks like a big pattern change coming,” McClure said.