Parts of Florida will feel the first freeze of the season tonight as temperatures drop

Woman sits by the beach in cold weather as freeze warning looms – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by: fantom_rd

A Freeze Warning is officially in effect Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning over the Sunshine State’s Panhandle. Temperatures could drop below freezing before the sun rises on Wednesday, thanks to the shocking arrival of an early-season cold front.

Early Tuesday morning, a cold front pushed through North Florida and the Panhandle. The boundary is forecasted to span the entire length of the state by Tuesday night. High pressure continues to build over the Northern Plains behind the cold front, and winds behind it usher a cold and dry airmass toward the Southeast.

By early Wednesday morning, the polar airmass is expected to arrive in the Panhandle and surrounding northern areas. Temperatures over interior Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties could surpass below-freezing temperatures. In anticipation of those harsh conditions, the National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning throughout the entire region. Lows are not expected to get as cold along the immediate Emerald Coast, and should drop just at the low 40s. On the east side, near the Forgotten Coast, Big Bend, and North Central Florida, overnight temperatures early Wednesday morning are expected to dip into the upper 30s and low 40s.

By Wednesday afternoon, the whole state should be covered by below-average temperatures as the airmass should have continued to drop south during the day. The Panhandle’s highs will probably be in the low 40s, while South Florida’s will be in the 60s. The Panhandle should have lows in the 30s on Thursday morning, while South Florida should experience highs in the 50s and low 60s.

A gradual warm-up will be on its way by Thursday afternoon as the forecasted high is in the mid-70s.

Ahead of the cold front could be some strong storms, including one that caused two tornadoes on Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service. The first tornado made landfall in Martin County near Indiantown at around 9:20 p.m. with winds reaching 80 to 85 mph. The tornado remained on land for 0.2 miles and had a shocking width of 85 yards.

At around 9:30 p.m., the second tornado made landfall in the Midway Estates neighborhood of southeast Indian River County. Estimated wind speeds were 65 mph. It was around 75 yards wide and remained on the ground for 0.2 kilometers.

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