Hard freeze coming to the First Coast

Mid-20s forecast before dawn Monday morning

Published On: Feb 16 2013 02:56:05 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 17 2013 09:53:05 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The sun will struggle to warm us to 50 degrees Sunday, and 10-15 mph winds will keep if feeling closer to freezing all day.  Then there's a second night of sub-freezing weather before a work-week warm up.

Before dawn, lows dropped into the 20s across most of Channel 4's viewing area, and even briefly dipped below freezing along the beaches.

The moisture of the passing arctic cold front passed through greater Jacksonville Saturday afternoon came before the temperature drop, so the slight chance of snow or sleet was dropped from the forecast -- also some sleet was reported across southeast Georgia.

A hard freeze is expected again Sunday night -- a hard freeze warning in effect from midnight to 9 a.m. Monday -- with temperatures expected to be below freezing for several hours.

All tender plants will need to be brought inside or wrapped in cloth. All pets will need to be brought in or given warm shelter. Exposed pipes, especially in southeast Georgia or along the Interstate 75 corridor will need to be wrapped. This includes back flow preventers on sprinkler systems.

Cars without antifreeze to the west of U.S. Highway 301 may need overnight protection.  Heating your home safely is a primary concern- this does not include the use of space heaters overnight.

For those running the 26.2 With Donna Marathon, temperatures at the start were hovering between 30 and 32 degrees under crystal clear skies. Temperatures will slowly warm into the mid and upper 40s by late morning. Mittens, scarves and jackets will certainly be needed throughout the morning and afternoon.

As Sunday's sunset approaches, the winds are expected to calm, allowing overnight lows reaching the mid-20s.  After the overnight freeze, Monday brings sunny skies and a high in the low 60s.