MANATEE -- After so many days of mild autumn weather, Manatee County was due for a cold blast and it's getting it Wednesday, said Brian McClure a Bay News 9 meteorologist.
"It's a classic cold front," McClure said Tuesday of the front that originated in the high plains of the United States and the central prairie of Canada and chugged into Manatee and Sarasota counties early Wednesday. "It's coming through Canada and making its way through. It will be quick. Wednesday cool and Thursday beginning to warm up."
At Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, the low temperature overnight and Wednesday morning was 60, recorded just before 8 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
Wednesday's forecast high is 71 -- but with northeasterly winds of 17 to 20 mph perhaps making it feel blustery. Skies will be mostly sunny.
Wednesday night, the temperature could drop to 55, with the strong winds continuing.
Thursday's expected high is near 77, with mostly sunny skies and easterly winds of about 16 mph. Thursday night's forecast low is around 61.
A 50 percent chance of rain enters the forecast for Friday.
"A little blast like this is only noticeable because we have been so beautiful," McClure said.
"We have a small craft advisory near shore on Wednesday and a gale warning beyond 20 miles," Rude said. "That will continue through part of Wednesday and we are not certain when we can lower it."
The winds are the result of strong high pressure behind the front, Rude added. "Right now, we are looking at a close to normal winter," Rude said.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @ RichardDymond.