MANATEE -- The first day back to school after a winter break marked by stereotypical Florida weather -- warm breezes and sunshine -- will remind Manatee students Tuesday morning that, indeed, it is winter.
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday, covering most of the Florida Gulf Coast from Levy County in the north to Fort Myers in the south to Lakeland in the east.
Meaning, said the Weather Service, make sure your kids are bundled up in layers of clothing before you send them off to school.
For Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, forecasters have issued a hard freeze watch, meaning "sub-freezing temperatures are possible," a Weather Service advisory stated. "These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation."
The advisories were issued as a front of Canadian high pressure moved into the region.
Monday night, the forecast low is 43, but with continued northerly winds of 17 mph to 20 mph making it feel as cold as 36.
On Tuesday, forecasters were calling for a high of 52 -- and wind chills as low as 34 early in the day. Northerly winds were expected to be at 16 mph to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.
Tuesday night, the low was expected to drop to 30, with a wind chill as low as 20 into early Wednesday.
Homeless people will be able to stay for free at the Salvation Army on Monday night and Tuesday night.
The Salvation Army location at 1204 14th St. W. also has blankets and jackets available for those who decide not to stay at the shelter, which can hold up to about 125 people.
“We’re pretty much set in place right now,” said Jerry Lybrand, assistant manager at the men’s lodge. “They’ll have a warm place to stay here.”
On Wednesday, the forecast high was 60, signaling the start of a warming trend. By Saturday, the high temperature was expected to again be in the mid-70s, according to the Weather Service.
No rain was forecast through Friday.