MANATEE -- Meteorologists predict the strongest cold front of the season is due to arrive in Manatee County this afternoon and last until Tuesday when temperatures are expected to rise dramatically.
Low temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s s are expected, with highs in the low to upper 50s tonight through Monday.
The coldest point may be early Monday morning with temperatures expected to dive for a short time into the mid- to high 30s, said Mike Clay, a Bay News 9 meteorologist. "We don't think, however, it will reach freezing," Clay said. "We don't expect it to impact growers."
Clay calls it "just a good cold front."
"The air mass is verydry so it won't be a wet,
penetrating cold," Clay said. "We will experience a very, very quick warm up with highs back in the 80s beginning Tuesday and lasting throughout the week."
A slight chance of showers Tuesday and Wednesday is the only thing to mar what promises to be stellar outdoor weather from Tuesday on, said Richard Rude, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
But Manatee and Sarasota county residents and tourists will definitely pay their dues to get to the warmer weather next week.
The temperature is expected to take a sudden plunge from a pleasant upper 60s around noon today to the mid-40s by sunsettonight, Rude said.
As the front moves in, temperatures will continue to dip to the low 40s or even high 30s early Sunday morning, Rude said.
"It's going to be windy," Clay said, explaining why it may even feel a little colder.
Sunday is forecast to have highs just into the mid-50s, Clay said. "If it does get into the 30s, it might be Monday morning."
The cold front will track along the west coast of Florida, Rude said.
"It will track easterly and maintain cool to cold northerly flow," Rude added.