MANATEE -- Today’s daylight temperatures might still be on the warm side but forecasters are promising that by tonight, the story will be different.
A massive expanse of frigid air from Canada is rolling into Florida with expectations of 48 hours of Florida winter starting early Sunday morning, complete with the need for sweaters or jackets, said Mike Clay, a meteorologist with Bay News 9.
“It’s an old-fashioned cold front,” Clay said. “But, like the others we have had so far this winter, it will only last a few days or so, not like the last two winters where the cold stayed.”
As the front rolls into Manatee and Sarasota counties late this afternoon, temperatures will begin a slide into the 60s, Clay said.
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This mass of cold air will hit with even more force early Sunday morning with temperatures dividing into the 40s and winds picking up, making it feel even colder, Clay said.
“We could easily spend all of Sunday in the 50s and that doesn’t happen often,” Clay added.
But the full force of this short-lived cold snap will be Monday, Clay said.
“Monday will be the coldest,” Clay said. “It won’t be freezing, but it will be in the upper 30s Monday morning. That will be the worst of it. By Monday afternoon, it will begin to warm.”
Tuesday will be lovely, with temperatures back in the 70s, Clay said.
“By Valentine’s Day this cold snap will be a distant memory,” Clay added.
The cold front also raises some marine concerns, said Todd Barron, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
“Saturday will present winds for boaters in the 15- to 20-knot range and, early Sunday, the winds will lift to the 20- to 25-knot range,” Barron added.
The chance of rain is just 10 percent Saturday and zero percent Sunday and early next week, Barron added.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686.