A seasonably cold night is expected across much of north and northeast Florida, but the wind will make it feel even colder in many spots.
A Freeze Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service Jacksonville office for inland areas of the peninsula near and north of a line from Cedar Key to Gainesville to Jacksonville. In these locations, including much of the Florida Panhandle, Saturday morning lows are expected to fall into the upper 20s and lower 30s.
A freeze this time of year isn’t that uncommon, although it has been a while since one occurred this winter. The last freeze in Gainesville and Jacksonville occurred on Jan. 22. The average date of last occurrence in Gainesville is March 2, and it’s Feb. 14 in Jacksonville.
Blustery winds have been howling all day long, which makes the already cold temperatures feel even colder. In Gainesville, for instance, it felt like only 36 at 1 pm, which is typically the warmest part of the day.
Gainesville likely shattered a cold daytime high temperature record, only reaching a maximum temperature of 47 since midnight (as of 5 pm). The previous record high maximum for Feb. 21 was 48, set in 1908.
The winds won’t be as strong overnight, but still a factor in making it feel even colder. Wind chills are projected to fall to the lower 20’s along the I-10 corridor, and as low as the 30s deep into portions of west-central Florida.
A gradual warming trend will begin Saturday, and temperatures are likely to return to the seasonal norms by Sunday or Monday.