Tornado watch in effect for some North Florida counties
Published: Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 7:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 7:33 p.m.
Colder temperatures are set to settle into the area again this week.
Forecasts, however, predict the shot of cold air will be nothing as chilling as the long-term freeze earlier this month that burned plants and sent electricity usage skyrocketing.
An 80 percent chance of rain was forecast overnight Sunday with possible isolated severe thunderstorms, damaging wind gusts and large hail. A tornado watch was in effect Sunday evening for some North Florida counties including Dixie, Lafayette and Suwannee counties.
Temperatures then are expected to dip with lows in the mid to upper 30s during the first half of the week in the Gainesville area. A 30 percent chance of showers also is forecast for Monday.
A light freeze will be possible inland in the state early Wednesday when Gainesville could see a low of 33 degrees, according to the weather service.
Clear skies with calm winds and a cool, northerly drainage flow around a high pressure center could promote the light freeze, expected to occur west of the U.S. 301 corridor Wednesday morning, forecasts stated.
"This is pretty average for this time of year," said meteorologist Matt Zibura. "It looks like temperatures pretty close to normal."
By Thursday, temperatures should begin to rise with highs in the low 70s that day and lows overnight in the 50s, the weather service reported.
The coming weekend is expected to be a repeat of this week's forecasts with another cold front. A 40 percent chance of rain is predicted for Friday night and Saturday followed by a low of 39 degrees Saturday night and temperatures in the low 60s under sunny skies Sunday.
Earlier this month, Gainesville temperatures hit freezing 13 days in a row, Zibura said.
The average date for the last freeze in the area is Feb. 22.