Freezing temps hit Florida; another cold front coming this week

·4 min read

Don't put away the jackets just yet. Fresh on the heels of the storm that dumped snow and paralyzed much of the northeastern USA, brought multiple tornadoes to Fort Myers, Naples, Iona and Charlotte County Sunday and freezing temperatures to North Florida Tuesday morning, comes another cold front from Canada.

It'll get warmer first, though. Between the last cold front and the next, temperatures in Florida are expected to rebound this week to the mid-70s, with lows in the mid-50s.

But by Thursday, forecasters with the National Weather Service say, a disturbance will move over the Great Lakes and push an arctic blast of cold air into the northern Plains with cold high-pressure ridging into the lower Mississippi River Valley, ultimately bringing more brutal weather to the North Central states with cold temperatures spreading further to other south.

"As the cold Arctic air dives south, conditions will feel noticeably colder to many residents from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon across the middle of the country," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo, who added that the country could be seeing a 24-hour temperature drop between 20 and 30 degrees in areas as far south as northern Texas.

The cold front is expected to hit Florida sometime Thursday night, and we'll be back down to the low 40s and high 30s by Friday morning with chances of cold rain.

AccuWeather forecasters say this will kick off the longest stretch of cold air so far this winter.

Tornadoes in Southwest Florida Sunday:

How cold did it get in Florida Tuesday morning?

Large areas of north and central Florida saw temperatures drop into the low-to-mid 30s with Tallahassee getting down to 28 degrees overnight, according to Weather Underground.

As winds drop to around 5 mph or less this morning, the National Weather Service is predicting widespread frost for all of southeast Georgia and areas along North Florida this morning and into the inland central part of the state.

Winter slams the U.S.: At least 2 dead, tens of thousands without power as brutal winter storm slams South

How cold will it get in Florida Tuesday night?

Thanks to fading winds and surface high-pressure building over the area, forecasters predict lows in the low to mid-30s again this evening, with slightly warmer temperatures at coastal areas. A frost advisory will likely be needed again for inland areas north of Gainesville and west of the St Johns river over Northeast Florida and west of Interstate 95 over Southeast Georgia.

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Another cold front is expected to bring below-normal weather to Florida this week.
Another cold front is expected to bring below-normal weather to Florida this week.

Will my flight be delayed or canceled?

Quite possibly. More than 6,000 flights within, into and out of the U.S. were canceled or delayed as of noon Tuesday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Sunday's weather forced similar issues for almost 8,000 flights, and Monday saw over 9,000 cancelations or delays. Be sure to check your flight information and be prepared to make other arrangements.

What will the weather be like in Florida this weekend?

There will likely be some cold rain in North Florida along the Georgia border by the end of the week, with drier air bringing temps down into the upper 30s next week for areas north of Orlando. But models differ and forecasts for just how cold it may get and just how much rain we might see are still very much in the air.

Did a tornado hit Iona in Fort Myers Sunday?

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado with 118 mph winds touched down about 7:35 a.m. in the Iona area of Fort Myers, lasting five minutes and traveling 1.8 miles. Lee County officials reported Sunday there were four injuries.

It was the second confirmed tornado for Southwest Florida. Another tornado touched down in the Placida area of Charlotte County, causing no injuries but an estimated $500,000 in damage to 35 manufactured homes.

Weather officials were still surveying the damage in Collier County on Monday where at least two other possible tornados were spotted.

More on the tornadoes: Hundreds displaced from their homes. What we know Monday, Jan. 17

Social media: Videos show storm damage across Fort Myers, Iona, Naples and on Alligator Alley

Southwest Florida tornadoes: Here's what we know and how you can help

In Fort Myers, three separate mobile home parks were hit: Tropicana, Century 21 and Point Breeze. There was minor damage reported in other nearby residential communities, such as Gulf Harbour, Kelly Greens and McGregor Woods.

In all, Lee County officials estimated the damage at $1.1 million. They said 108 mobile homes were damaged, half had major damage. Thirty mobile homes were destroyed.

Did Florida break any records Tuesday morning?

Oh, no. The modern record for Jan. 18 in Tallahassee is 15 degrees back in 1985 when one of the most intense arctic outbreaks of the 20th century brought extremely cold temperatures to every state east of the Rockies.

The coldest  temperatures observed during the Jan. 18-22, 1985 Arctic Outbreak.
The coldest temperatures observed during the Jan. 18-22, 1985 Arctic Outbreak.

Contributor: Luis Zambrano, Fort Myers News-Press

C. A. Bridges is a Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network, working with multiple newsrooms across Florida. Local journalists work hard to keep you informed about the things you care about, and you can support them by subscribing to your local news organization. Read more articles by Chris here and follow him on Twitter at @cabridges

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida weather: Another cold front to bring temps back down this week