Get out the gloves: Temperatures likely to dip below freezing Friday


Published: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Just when you thought those sweaters and jackets collecting dust in the closet might not see the light of day until next winter, Mother Nature is throwing a cold front our way.

Facts

FYI: What to expect

  • TODAY: High, 60, low, 32, breezy with clouds breaking for some sun
  • FRIDAY: High, 60, low, 30, mostly sunny and cool
  • SATURDAY: High, 69, low, 47, intervals of clouds and sunshine
Source: National Weather Service

With the winds now coming out of the northwest, National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Shashy said the Gainesville area will be feeling some cold weather coming down Friday and Saturday in the form of overnight freezes. The cool temperatures should linger for a few days.

"Looks like for the next several days and into next week we'll still be fairly cool, maybe close to normal or below normal," Shashy said, noting that the normal temperatures for this time of year is a high of 66 degrees and a low of 43 degrees.

Shashy said he expects the temperatures to dip into the low 30s Friday morning, and Saturday morning should hit right around 30.

Although it's been unseasonably warm for the last couple months, area farmers aren't too concerned about a freeze that doesn't dip into the low 20s.

Donald King of Donald King Produce north of Gainesville said his strawberries are the only crops that will be a little vulnerable.

"You have to protect the bloom on strawberries," King said. "If the cold kills the bloom, then you're not going to have a berry on that bloom."

King said he'll be covering his strawberries tonight, which is supposed to keep them safe even if temperatures drop to just above zero.

At Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, director Don Goodman said even though some of the plants at the gardens have bloomed early because of the warm winter, he is confident they can survive 30-degree temperatures.

"It really has to get down to 28 or so for several hours before a freeze can really consolidate its grip on plant tissues," Goodman said. "Right now, we're really not planning on taking any special precautions."

Shashy with the National Weather Service said low temperatures should ease into the 40s after Saturday, but those temperatures should hang around until at least Jan 31.

And as far as the rest of the winter goes, Shashy said it's possible the area will still see a few more freezes before it's through.

Alice Wallace can be reached at 374-5036 or alice.wallace@gvillesun.com

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