By The Numbers: Breaking down the cold snap


Everyone thawed out yet? It sure has been a cold couple of weeks. Let’s take a closer look at the Cold Snap of 2010:

11 The record for number of consecutive days with overnight lows below 40 degrees in Manatee and Sarasota. Also known as a cold snap, the streak has run from Jan. 3 through Wednesday. The previous record was 10 from Dec. 30, 2009, to Jan. 8, 2001.

12 The record for a cold snap if the mercury dips below 40 early today. Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Ruskin say the chances of that happening were 50-50. A 13- or 14-day streak? No chance, thanks to a warming trend, say forecasters.

24 The lowest unofficial temperature so far in Manatee and Sarasota counties during the streak; it was recorded Monday in Myakka City.

28 The temperature in which citrus sustains damage if it is prolonged for four hours. Although damage assessments are still in progress, state citrus officials say there is frozen fruit, as well as twig and leaf damage in the north and west parts of the state’s citrus belt.

28 The lowest officially recorded temperature at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport during the cold wave.

44.5 Average temperature through the first 12 days in January in Manatee and Sarasota, also a record. The previous record-low average for the first 12 days of January was 47.2 degrees.

71 The normal high for Manatee-Sarasota area in December. The last time we hit that was New Year’s Eve, when it reached 76 degrees.

102 Number of beds at The Salvation Army men’s lodge on 14th Street West. Occupancy has been at 130 percent over the past 10 days, said Ed Wickman, lodge director.

146 Number of homeless men that stayed overnight Tuesday at The Salvation Army, the most during any night of the cold wave.

197 Number of pennies it took to buy a “clam shell” container of strawberries at a Publix Supermarket in East Manatee earlier this week. Local farmers expect this figure to rise over the next few months due to a lower supply of berries.

250 Number of large, black lawn bags that could be filled with the donations of jackets, warm weather clothes, hats and socks for the homeless that came into The Salvation Army from Manatee residents during the cold snap.

1,393 The number of homeless men who stayed at The Salvation Army lodge since the cold snap began Jan. 3 through Tuesday. In a normal 10-day stretch, the lodge will serve about 1,020 men, an average of 102 per night.

2,600 Number of 5:30- 6 p.m. community meals served by The Salvation Army during the cold snap. In a normal 10-day stretch the agency serves 2,200 meals. This represents an increase of 18 percent.

5,000 The number of flats of strawberries — each flat has 8 quarts — usually picked on an average day during the winter harvest by C&D Fruit & Vegetables on State Road 64. The farm was able to pick only a maximum of 500 flats a day during the recent cold wave due to the berries not being able to dry out after being wet from water applied by sprinklers to insulate them.

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