Area temperatures expected to hit 20s

Published: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 1:59 a.m.
The side effects of the blustery blizzard up north sent the coldest weather of the season into Florida on Sunday as residents were warned to prepare for freezing temperatures deep into the state.
Gainesville-area temperatures were expected to drop to the mid-20s early this morning with a high in the 50s later today and temperatures around the freezing mark again early Tuesday. The record low for today's date is 18 degrees in 1960.
Freeze warnings for early today covered all of the state but the Miami area and the Florida Keys, and temperatures in the mid-40s were predicted for the Keys, which normally stay tropical even if the rest of the state cools off.
Unusually cool wind-chill readings will be in the 30s across South Florida as gusty winds accompany the chill.
Many residents of the Miami area bundled up and walked briskly if they had to be outdoors.
Hank Sorensen, a retired building inspector born in North Dakota, got out his heavy clothes. The World War II veteran had a NRA baseball cap tugged down tight and said he was wearing long underwear beneath his wool pants, plus a T-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, vest and jacket.
"I've lived here for over 60 years so I feel it just like the natives here do," Sorensen said. "So I dress for it. This is a little cool."
Ripple effects from the blizzard in the Northeast and Midwest forced the cancellation of more than 100 flights in and out of the major Florida airports when planes were grounded elsewhere.
In Miami, where temperatures hit the mid-70s Sunday afternoon, most residents took news of the impending cold front in stride. With so many hot and muggy days year-round, a brisk overnight chill tends to be a welcome diversion.
"We have too much heat in here all the time, so it's nice," said Rafael Paz, who loaded soda and other supplies into his van outside a Miami Sam's Club.
Sergio Campos, a case manager at the Miami-Dade courthouse, said he was lucky compared to his relatives in Queens, N.Y., who were buried under more than a foot of snow.
"Whatever - I'm from New York so it's not that big of a deal," Campos said. "It's only cold for a day . . . two days later it's going back to 80 degrees."

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