Thawing out

Warmer weather expected in area

Enduring temperatures that dipped into the 20's, cyclists ride through steam rising from a gutter during their 200 Kilometer Brevet along 39th Avenue early Saturday morning. The brevet was part of a four series qualifying ride to take part in the "Paris Brest Paris," a 750 mile, four day race, from Paris to Brest, France, and back again. More than 50 cyclists, who were timed to make sure they were meeting the requirement of nine miles per hour, took part Saturday, hoping to compete in the oldest regurlarly occuring bike randonneur in the world. "It would be much better if it was warmer this morning," ride support Jim Wilson said. "But we would have ridden even if it was this cold and raining."

Lee Ferinden/Special to the Sun
Published: Monday, January 20, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 11:48 p.m.
There were three degrees of separation between the temperature and a new record Sunday morning.
Gainesville's low reached 24 degrees, just shy of the 21-degree record as the stretch of subfreezing temperatures continued.
But Matt Zibura of the National Weather Service was the bearer of good news for those desiring warmth - temperatures will be in the upper 60s and maybe even 70 this week.
"It's finally going to warm up," he said, noting that this morning's predicted temperatures in the low 30s would be the last of the big freeze for the time being. "Even when another cold front comes in at the end of the week, it's not going to be as cold as it's been."
The high today should be in the upper 60s. The thaw will continue through the week with lows only in the 40s. Zibura said some clouds will obscure the sun at midweek.
Then the new wave of cold should flow in by Friday, but lows will bottom out in the 30s with highs in the 60s.
The weekend freeze made life uncomfortable for some but did not cause any serious problems statewide.
Although temperatures fell below freezing early Sunday in many areas, there were no reports of citrus crops damaged over the weekend, said Casey Pace, spokeswoman for Florida Citrus Mutual. Citrus becomes endangered when temperatures fall below 28 degrees for more than four hours.
"We had some growers who ran water on their trees and we had some temperatures that ran lower than 28 degrees, but not for a very long duration," Pace said. "We didn't have any problems."

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