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In Manatee, chilly temps are all relative

MANATEE — Manatee County natives woke up Friday to what in their minds were some nippy temperatures.

But to our northern visitors, the overnight drop of the mercury was refreshing compared to what’s happening in their home towns.

“When it gets like this everyone puts their shorts on,” said Katherine Jones, who was down from the cold climes of Wisconsin visiting her relatives in Manatee for the holiday.

Friday’s low was a chilly 47 degrees and the high was in the mid-60s, according to meteorologist Tom Dougherty of the National Weather Service station in Ruskin.

Jones was enjoying the Manatee County Public Beach in Holmes Beach with several other relatives, using a big, blue beach umbrella as a wind shield.

“If there was no wind it would be awesome,” said Kayla Kempfer, also from Wisconsin. “Our summers aren’t this warm.”

The winds were quite chilling, whipping along at about 9 mph, keeping most from frolicking in the surf.

The water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday morning hovered around 72 degrees, according to Dougherty, but it was dropping fast and expected to hit 69 degrees by the afternoon. And over the next couple of days it was forecast to drop even more, to around 65 degrees, the meteorologist said.

To Veronica and Alex Demsoreanu, who traveled to Manatee from Stuttgart, Germany, the weather was also a relative matter.

“It’s not too cold,” said Alex, as he sat on a bench with his wife Friday under the Australian pines lining Manatee County Public Beach. “In Germany it’s much colder — about 5 degrees (Celsius, or 41 Fahrenheit).”

They were just happy the sun was shining and there wasn’t rain like earlier in the week.

County visitors and residents can expect clear skies through the weekend. Dougherty said today’s high will in the upper 60s. Sunday will be a little warmer, with the high reaching 75 degrees.

“No rain is expected this weekend,” he said, “just nice and dry, with plenty of sunshine.”

It will be a bit colder this morning with temperatures dropping to around 40 in much of the county. Eastern areas of the county can expect temperatures to dip into the upper 30s, while lows near the beaches and around the Manatee River should be in the upper 40s.

The cold temperatures sweeping the county are left over from a cold front that moved through Wednesday and Thursday, but no unusual weather patterns are at play, according to Dougherty.

“It’s nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.