Florida weather: Freeze watches, wind chill advisories issued as residents brace for cold

·8 min read

Freeze watches, frost warnings and wind chill advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service across much of Florida in advance of Arctic air plunging into the Sunshine State.

Residents were warned to protect plants and pets as decades-old records may be broken over the weekend, according to AccuWeather forecasters.

Some of the coldest temperatures could arrive Saturday night into Sunday morning.

An intense coastal storm will drag a strong cold front through east central Florida tonight. Behind the front, strong and gusty northwest winds will bring the coldest air of the season.

More of our weather coverage around the state

Lower temperatures are forecast to last longer over the northern parts of the state, while areas farther south may dip below freezing for a brief time.

Will cold front break low-temperature records across Florida?

The National Weather Service in Tampa said the low temperatures Sunday morning could be the coldest in the area since 2018.

Fort Myers may tie its record low Sunday. A low of 35 was set in 1978. Miami's record low for Jan. 30 was 35, set in 1940.

Cold and COVID: Do at-home COVID-19 tests still work if they get cold? What if they freeze in my mailbox?

Advisories in effect across Florida

Pensacola under wind advisory

While Pensacola is forecast to remain above the criteria for a wind chill advisory, wind chill temperatures are expected to drop into the teens overnight. Residents are encouraged to bundle up, stay warm and take precautions.

Wind advisory: In effect from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. Northwest winds between 15 to 25 mph with frequent gusts up to 39 mph expected for areas along the immediate coast.

Where: In Florida, coastal Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

Impacts: Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

Tallahassee under hard freeze watch, wind chill advisory

Hard freeze watch: From late Saturday night through Sunday morning. Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 22 are possible.

Where: Big Bend and Panhandle of Florida.

Impacts: Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Jacksonville under freeze watch, wind chill advisory

Hard freeze watch: From late Saturday through Sunday morning. Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 26 are possible.

Where: Inland St. Johns, inland Flagler, coastal Duval, coastal St. Johns, coastal Flagler and South Central Duval counties.

Impacts: Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

Wind chill advisory: In effect from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday. Very cold wind chills from the upper teens to lower 20s are expected.

Where: Portions of southeast Georgia, and northeast and northern Florida.

Impacts: The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken.

Daytona Beach, Melbourne under freeze watch, wind chill advisory

Freeze watch: In effect from late Saturday night through Sunday morning. Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 28 degrees are possible.

Where: Orange, Seminole, southern Brevard, Osceola, Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Coastal Volusia, southern Lake and northern Brevard counties.

Impacts: Freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Wind chill advisory: In effect from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday. Cold wind chills are expected. Expect wind chills to range from 25 to 30 for several hours Saturday morning.

Where: Inland Volusia, northern Lake, Orange, Seminole, southern Brevard, Osceola, Coastal Volusia, southern Lake and northern Brevard counties.

Impacts: A wind chill advisory means that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Make sure you dress appropriately for the cold weather, including a coat, a hat and gloves. Be sure to bring cold sensitive pets indoors for the night. While wind chills will rise above 30 degrees by late morning, they will remain in the 30s to lower 40s into Saturday afternoon.

Vero Beach, Fort Pierce under freeze watch

Freeze watch: From late Saturday night through Sunday morning. Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 28 degrees are possible.

Where: Orange, Seminole, Southern Brevard, Osceola, Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, coastal Volusia, southern Lake and northern Brevard counties.

Impacts: Freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Weather forecast for Stuart

Hazardous weather outlook for east central Florida: An intensifying coastal storm will drag a strong cold front through east central Florida tonight.

Behind the front, strong and gusty northwest winds will start to usher in the coldest air of the season thus far. Temperatures will drop into the 30s and lower 40s area-wide by sunrise Saturday, with a few spots in north Lake and Volusia counties dropping to within a few degrees of the freezing mark.

Wind chills from Osceola and Brevard counties northward will reach the upper 20s to low 30s for several hours early Saturday morning.

Be sure to bring cold sensitive pets indoors and dress appropriately for the cold temperatures and wind chills.

Weather forecast for West Palm Beach

Very cold weather is expected this weekend, with low temperatures dropping below freezing across the interior Saturday night. Wind chills could dip into the upper 20s across a large portion of the interior. Frost will be a concern, especially Sunday night.

Temperatures could drop into upper 30s for Naples

Very cold weather is expected this weekend, with low temperatures dropping below freezing across the interior on Saturday night. Wind chills could dip into the upper 20s across a large portion of the interior.

Frost will be a concern, especially Sunday night. Marine conditions will continue to deteriorate quickly behind a strong cold front Friday night, and thus hazardous marine conditions will continue through the weekend. Enhanced swell and breezy winds will likely result in a high risk for rip currents across all beaches this weekend.

Freeze watch issued for Fort Myers

Freeze watch: Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 28 possible from late Saturday night through Sunday morning.

Where: Portions of southwest and west central Florida.

Impacts: Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Sarasota under high surf advisory

High surf advisory: From 1 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday. Large breaking waves of 5 to 7 feet.

Where: Pinellas, coastal Manatee, coastal Sarasota, coastal Charlotte and coastal Lee counties.

Impacts: Dangerous swimming and surfing conditions and localized beach erosion. Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away from shore into deeper water.

This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Florida cold front: Freezing temperatures expected across most of state