Temps dip to 26 in Gainesville; low in mid-20s expected Tuesday night

Noah Beck, left, who turns 14 tomorrow, hands a homeless man a blanket as Noah and his family, mom, Jennifer Beck, right, and her children Alonica Cooper, 9, center, Lynnae Dixon, and Talayah Dixon, 6, not seen, visit the Bo Diddley Downtown Community Plaza in Gainesville Monda.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Su
Published: Monday, January 6, 2014 at 1:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 7:42 a.m.

(Updated at 7:35 a.m. Tuesday) By about 7 a.m. Tuesday, the low temperature had reached 26 degrees in Gainesville, five degrees above the record low for the day.

The National Weather Service forecast partly cloudy skies and a Tuesday high in the lower 40s. Wind chill readings of 9 to 14 degrees were expected in the morning.

On Tuesday night look for a low in the mid-20s. Wednesday should warm up, with a high around 60.

(Original article) The Arctic blast that has left most of the nation frozen has descended on Alachua County with frigid temperatures that are expected to break a record.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning, hard freeze warning and lake wind advisory for the region for Monday night and Tuesday night.

The icy air sweeping the area will cause temperatures to drop Tuesday morning to lows around 18 degrees with northwest winds at 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, said Kate Guillet, a meteorological intern with the NWS in Jacksonville. Wind chill readings are expected to be from 7 to 12 degrees after midnight, Guillet said.

The hard freeze warning will be in effect in the area until 11 a.m. Tuesday, and later from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the NWS.

Tuesday will be sunny and cold, with highs around 40, but less windy, down to 10 to 15 mph, Guillet said. Wednesday morning's lowest temperature is expected to be around 19 degrees, with wind chill readings at 10 to 15 degrees.

The record low for Jan. 7 is 21 degrees, set in 2010.

"Looking into the rest of the week, it's like the complete opposite," she said. "It's just going to be very cold for those two days."

Wednesday will be partly cloudy with highs around 60 and lows Thursday morning in the lower 40s. Thursday, Friday and the weekend will be much warmer, with highs around 70 and lows in the 50s, the NWS website said.

Alachua County Public Schools will be open Tuesday and school buses will be running on their regular routes. Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said schools will likely be open Wednesday, as well, although the district will continue to monitor conditions and change plans accordingly.

Columbia County Public Schools, however, will be closed Tuesday on the recommendation of the county's Emergency Services director.

Due to the "expected wind chill factor of 0 degrees, morning temperatures of 15 degrees and a very strong potential for 'black ice' on the roadways, the Columbia County School District will be closed for all students and employees on Tuesday," the notice reads. School is expected to be back in session on Wednesday.

Although 3,852 flights have been canceled and 6,564 flights have been delayed because of the weather in the U.S. according to FlightAware.com, Gainesville Airport spokesperson Laura Aguiar said the local airport has not delayed any flights or seen a direct impact because of the frigid mass of air.

Staff writer Erin Jester contributed to this report.

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