Near-record cold on tap for Thursday

MANATEE — The forecast is for cold this morning, but nothing like the predicted near-record freeze in inland Manatee County early Thursday.

Today in the hours around daybreak, expect temperatures in the lower 30s in inland Manatee and lower 40s along the coast, forecaster Tom Dougherty with the National Weather Service said late Tuesday.

The high today will be in the mid-50s, he said.

But then Manatee is in for a “very cold night,” said Dougherty, who works out of an office in Ruskin in southern Hillsborough County.

Near-record cold.

A freeze watch was issued by the Weather Service Tuesday for Thursday morning. That advisory likely will be upgraded to a freeze warning early today.

Temperatures in inland Manatee County could dip to from 25 to 30 degrees for several hours Thursday morning, Dougherty predicted. He defines inland Manatee as east of Interstate 75.

If the thermometer does hit 25 or lower, it will be the coldest February 5th in the area since 24 degrees was recorded on Feb. 5, 1996 at the airport, in Parrish and at Myakka State Park, according to NWS records.

Along the coast early Thursday, the temperatures are predicted to hang just above freezing, and the low in west Bradenton will be about 30.

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