Folks on the First Coast and in Southeastern Georgia should brace for unusually cold temperatures this weekend as arctic air blankets the U.S.
Florida Public Radio meteorologist Jeff Huffman said residents should prepare by bringing in plants and pets and layer up for frigid winds.
“This will be the strongest and most abrupt front of the winter so far for much of Florida and that includes Northeast Florida. Temperatures, ironically enough, will reach their warmest point around midnight (Friday) night – probably in the mid to upper 60s,” he said.
But Huffman said many First Coasters will be shivering by the time they wake up the following day.
“By mid-morning Saturday, numbers are already going to be plunging to the 50s and by afternoon on Saturday it’ll be one of these rare Florida days where the temperature really drops almost 20 degrees from sunrise to sunset,” he said.
Still, Huffman said those hoping for snow flurries might be disappointed.
“At the present time I think the cold air will be lagging behind just a bit too much with the moisture moving out must faster. Not expecting frozen precipitation in our listening area — certainly nothing widespread,” he said. “It does take the perfect conditions to come together.”
The last time measurable snow hit the ground in Jacksonville was 1989, when all of the city’s bridges were closed due to icy conditions, according to the National Weather Service.
Huffman said the coldest temperatures are expected Sunday morning.