Incoming cold front will make for chilly lunar eclipse viewing in Manatee, experts say

This weekend’s cold front is expected to remind Bradenton residents that Florida does indeed experience its own version of winter weather.

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service predicts temperatures will plunge to a low of 44 degrees by Sunday night. Thankfully, the fast-moving front shouldn’t have any impact on the first portion of the holiday weekend, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure.

“It won’t have any impact on your Saturday. It’ll be breezy but dry and mild,” McClure said.

NWS forecasts say Saturday’s high will be 76 degrees along with breezy wind speeds between 6 and 15 mph and gusts up to 24 mph. Showers and thunderstorms are extremely likely Saturday night, along with wind gusts up to 30 mph and a low temperature around 58 degrees.

“The bigger storyline is the colder, windy conditions that will come in rapidly on Sunday,” McClure explained. “We think of our days as heating up, but Sunday the highest temperature will be around 1 a.m. and just keep dropping from there.”

Showers and thunderstorms are also likely before 8 a.m. Sunday. The high will be 62 degrees, but wind speeds are expected to be around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Luckily, a chance to view Sunday night’s rare Super Blood Moon lunar eclipse should be mostly unimpeded thanks to mostly clear skies.

The moon might be red that night, but the weather won’t be warm. NWS predicts breezy weather, a low of around 44 degrees and wind gusts as high as 26 mph. To catch the lunar event, step outside and keep an eye in the sky beginning around 10:30 p.m., according to Space.com. The full eclipse, known as totality, will remain in place from about 11:40 p.m. to 12:40 a.m. The partial eclipse should end around 1:50 a.m.

On Martin Luther King Day, the high will be around 62 degrees with 10 mph and a low of 49 degrees at night, according to the NWS.