Frost is possible Thursday morning as far south as the outlying areas of Port Charlotte and Fort Pierce. A freeze is likely for most inland areas north of the I-4 corridor. In many locations of north Florida, it will be the second night in a row of subfreezing temperatures. The mercury will fall faster and to a lower degree Thursday morning than it did Wednesday, thanks to a diminishing wind and the proximity of high pressure. Under a clear sky, the setup will allow for near maximum radiational cooling overnight and widespread frost.
It's already been a cold week in Florida, something we alerted you to about a week ago. After one more night of freezing temperatures and possible frost, a warm up will ensue. Temperatures are expected to be closer to normal for mid-February by the coming weekend. Details on tonight's digits are displayed below.
Even though winds will diminish, a light onshore flow from the west will keep most Gulf coast cities frost-free south of Cedar Key. This includes the metro areas of Tampa, Bradenton and Sarasota where lows will only fall to the lower 40's. Further inland, however, in or near cities such as Lakeland, Arcadia and Okeechobee, conditions will be more ideal for frost formation. It will be most widespread near and just west of the I-95 corridor, including cities such as Orlando, Kissimmee, and Sanford. The map above illustrates where conditions will be most ideal for frost formation (white areas).
Freeze Warnings are in effect for ALL of north Florida and much of the panhandle Thursday morning. In most areas, temperatures will be about one or two degrees colder than Wednesday morning, which places a large area in the upper 20's. Rural locations of Clay and Baker counties may even experience a hard freeze, where the mercury falls below 27° for a few hours.
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