Wednesday flurries in Alachua County? Blink and they’re gone


Alexander Herreros, right, skates with his daughter Camille, 5, left, and niece Nala Littles, 5, at Kanapaha Park in Gainesville on Sunday.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Su
Published: Monday, January 27, 2014 at 5:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 at 5:19 p.m.

For 30 minutes on Wednesday, Alachua County has the tiniest chance of seeing white flakes fall from the sky.

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Alexander Herreros, right, skates with his daughter Camille, 5, left, and niece Nala Littles, 5, at Kanapaha Park in Gainesville on Sunday.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Su

The arctic cold front that’s entering the Southeastern U.S. will push through North and Central Florida on Tuesday evening through Thursday. The area is slated to receive a mix of freezing rain and cold temperatures with the possibility of sleet pellets, said Ben Nelson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.

And although Nelson currently predicts no snow for the area, there will be a half-hour interval toward the end of Wednesday when conditions could be favorable for snow, he said.

It definitely won’t be enough to pile on the ground or for classes to be canceled. It probably will be less than the brief snow flurries that fell in Pensacola Friday, which residents on Twitter termed the “Pensacola Snow Storm of 2014.”

Nelson said freezing rain, sleet and a possible dusting of snow mostly will occur in the areas west of Lake City and Jasper, including Tallahassee and most of the Florida Panhandle. Areas east of Lake City and Jasper, including Alachua County, will get mostly rain.

But for the hopeful, the small window of time is enough.

“Here at the Jacksonville station, we never had any chances for snow or sleet in Alachua County, but if it happens, it’s going to be right at the end,” he said.

Tuesday will be cloudy with a high at 60 degrees early in the day, but temperatures will fall in the afternoon with a 50 percent chance of rain, Nelson said. Expect very cold rain Tuesday night going into Wednesday morning, when there will be an 80 percent chance of rain with temperatures falling into the upper 30s.

Wednesday will stay in the mid-30s with a 70 percent chance of rain. The temperatures will stay above freezing, with a small chance of ice, sleet pellets and a freeze Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Nelson said.

The Florida Highway Patrol advised drivers to be prepared for the possibility of adverse driving conditions in North Florida because of the winter precipitation starting Tuesday evening and ending Thursday.

When temperatures are near freezing, roadways might look wet, while bridges and overpasses are prone to freezing, a news release said.

If drivers see these conditions, the FHP advised that motorists should remember to slow down because, when roads are icy, vehicles do not have the traction required to stop quickly.

Drivers should not attempt to pass other vehicles and should leave space between vehicles when driving, the release said.

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