Chance of snow flurries remains for early Saturday

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 6:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 6:32 p.m.

Some snow flakes may fall from the sky early Saturday, but they are not expected to stick.

“We aren’t expecting any accumulation at all,” said David Shuler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.

“We can’t rule out the chance of a small chance of a few snow flurries early Saturday morning, but nothing significant,” he added.

Phil Peterson, also a weather service meteorologist, said Friday night that the chance for snow flurries in Gainesville and Ocala, as well as areas as far north as Jacksonville. were greatest starting at 4 a.m. and lasting until about 9 a.m. Saturday morning. After 9 a.m., the likelhood of snow flurries moves to the south, from an area stretching from Central Florida north to the Ocala National Forest, Peterson said.

While the chance of lingering snow is minimal, the last time Gainesville had traces of snowfall was Jan. 8, 1996.

While the chance of rain diminshes by late Saturday morning, temperatures are expected to remain stable.

Cold fronts carrying cold, dry air have been sweeping down the United States and flowing over Florida.

Shuler said the fronts are “going to make for a cold, very cold weekend. Twenty degrees below what we normally expect to see this time of year.”

On Thursday morning, Gainesville thermometers sunk to a low of 21, surpassing the 1924 record of 22 degrees. Ocala also set a new record low of 21 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

“[We are] still looking at (a) hard freeze (Saturday) night and Sunday night,” Shuler said.

For Saturday and Sunday, the sky is expected to be clear, with the sun shining brightly and temperatures ranging from a high of around 44 degrees to a low of 22 degrees.

The end of the weekend marks the end of the 40-degree days, as Monday is expected to warm to about 56 degrees with a low of 27 degrees.

Shuler expects normal weather patterns to resume mid to late next week, with temperatures slowly warming up.

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