The weather forecast for most of the coming week — gradual warming with no rain — will be good news for lovers of the Manatee County Fair, which opens Thursday at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto.
“Lots of sunshine with lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said meteorologist Paul Close of the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
But the promise of warm temperatures on the way were no help Sunday night to more than 100 people who waited in line to spend the night at the Salvation Army of Manatee County due to bitter cold and wind, according to a Salvation Army employee who spoke to the Herald.
The employee said that 113 people had “completely filled” the shelter Saturday, and the crowd may have been just as large Sunday.
Sunday morning began with the mercury hitting 36 degrees, the lowest temperature this winter, Close said. The wind chill was in the upper 20s, Close added.
“That topped the 38 degrees we had on Dec. 31,” Close said.
What sent the crowd to the shelter was a temperature that never rose above the mid-50s in Manatee County on Sunday and a wind that made it feel colder, Close said.
“Cold air just came pouring in from the cold front,” Close said. “Now, that cold front is in the Caribbean.”
The change will be felt Monday with lows in the upper 30s to low 40s and highs in the mid-60s, Close said.
“A little breeze Monday, very dry, no rain,” Close added.
Temperatures will gradually rise beginning Tuesday and continue through Thursday, will temperatures will return to the pattern of highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s, Close said.
“We will be getting back to warmer than normal,” Close added.