Another cold snap is on the way


Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 7:59 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 7:59 a.m.

OCALA - Enjoy it while you can.

Facts

GAINESVILLE FORECAST

Friday: Low 41, High 58
Saturday: Low 26, High 58
Sunday: Low 26, High 63
Monday: Low 37, High 68
Tuesday: Low 40, High 59

A week's worth of warmth will soon give way to another chilly weekend, which will be followed by another frigid cold snap by the middle of next week, forecasters said.

So it's time to ditch those shorts for long johns.

National Weather Service forecasters said morning low temperatures will dip into the upper-20s in Ocala and the mid-20s in Gainesville on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Forecaster Jason Hess said that after a warm day on Monday that another cold front is expected to move through, sending temperatures down to the mid-20s in both Ocala and Gainesville on Wednesday.

Hess cautioned that forecasts a week out can change, but computer models are showing a significant cool down over the weekend and again by the middle of next week.

He said the large temperature swings happen more often during a La Nina winter like this one.

During La Nina, a complex weather phenomenon, the Pacific Ocean waters are cooler than normal along the equator. Typically, that means dry winters and often times droughts.

The opposite is El Nino, with warmer Pacific waters that cause warmer, rainy winters in this area of Florida.

"La Nina does cause a roller-coaster ride in temperatures," he said.

Official forecasts by the National Weather Service said that there is a 50 percent chance of rain Thursday afternoon as the first cold front begins moving through.

Thursday's high temperature is expected to hit the lower-60s and Friday's low is expected to hit 44 in Ocala and 41 in Gainesville.

Friday's high is not expected to reach 60 degrees.

Hess said Saturday's high will be in the upper-50s. Temperatures should moderate by Sunday afternoon, with highs climbing to the mid-60s.

On Monday morning, after lows dip to near 40 degrees, there is a 50-percent chance or rain. Monday's high will is expected to hit near 70 degrees as the second cold front begins moving through.

On Tuesday, lows are expected to be near 40 degrees and highs near 60 before the cold settles in and sends the thermometer plummeting down into the mid-20s on Wednesday.

Joe Callahan can be reached at 352-867-4113 or at joe.callahan@starbanner.com.

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