Winter mix done; hard freeze tonight

Freeze warnings include beaches temperatures plunge into 20s

By John Gaughan - Chief meteorologist, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor, Rebecca Barry - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the mix of rain, sleet and show moves out to sea, the Weather Authority Alert Day ended by mid-afternoon Wednesday. Accumulated ice/snow in Southern Georgia will continue to cause problems for hours, if not days, but the sun has returned in greater Jacksonville and temperatures reached 40°.

This won't last as temps should drop to 32° by 7 p.m. in Jacksonville and remain below freezing for 17 hours. This Hard Freeze Warning requires people to protect themselves, their pets, plants and pipes.

The rain -- some of it frozen precipitation --  pushed through Northeast Florida very quickly Wednesday, which limits the potential for ice and snow in the area. The best chance to see a snow flurry will be as the rain is ending.

Sporadic passing snowflakes were spotted at the Jacksonville International Airport around 12:30 p.m., according to the NWS Jacksonville. The most likely locations to see snow will be along and to the west of I-95 in Southeastern Georgia through 4 p.m.

Snow Totals

Freezing Rainfall Accumulations

Snow flurries fell as far south as Tallahassee, where officials were forced to close a section of Interstate 10 due to icy conditions. The weather service in Tallahassee tweeted that there's 0.1 inch of snow on the roof of its building.

SLIDESHOW: Winter weather plows into Florida and Georgia

Various forecast models expected lows tonight (sunrise temperatures)

Hard Freeze Warnings west of I-95

Mixed frozen precipitation started falling before dawn Wednesday along I-75 (well west of Jacksonville), as much of News4Jax viewing area is under a Winter Storm Warning.

There are reports of light snow west of Gainesville, and ice is expected in Baldwin and Macclenny. 

Because of the dangers posed by freeing rain and icing bridges and roads, this will be a Weather Authority Alert Day.

Brunswick: There are reports of sleet. 

Lake City: There are reports of ice on the ground. 

Duval: Biggest issues will be heavy rains with some freezing rain (rain that freezes on trees, cars and grassy areas). Bridges are open and are expected to remain open. The Florida Department of Transportation decides whether or not they will close. Duval will be very much on the edge for freezing rains this morning. In Jacksonville Beach, residents can expect a hard freeze warning tonight. 

Nassau County northward into ALL of Central and Southeast Georgia the Winter Storm Warning is specifically for you. There will be ever increasing frozen precipitation. Roads may quickly become undriveable, understand you will need to stay off the roads.

Clay County: More than 1,000 power outages were reported in Orange Park early Wednesday morning, according to Clay Electric. News4JAX has since learned power was restored around 7 a.m.

Georgia will see the worst, with nearly impassable driving conditions at times today.

Baker County westward along I-10, the Winter Storm Warning is mainly for freezing rains which may cause some bridges to partially ice up. Driving will become highly dangerous as icing will be of the "black ice" variety as ice patches will appear as wet black top. Very tough to see.

South of Jacksonville and along the Coastal counties of Putnam, St. Johns, Flagler will see heavy rains, up to an inch, coastal flooding issues and winds to 35 mph, even a possible thunderstorm.

7 a.m. Freezing rain mainly west of town.

12 noon - Georgia snow begins to expand to the Georgia coast and south to the Florida line.

Snow for Jacksonville? Low chances but the best time to watch will be in the afternoon.

Not likely, but just as the wintry precipitation comes to an end around 2-4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, there could be a brief round of snow flurries in Jacksonville. 

Don't forget to "pin" your pictures on our StormPins app or post on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #watch4snow. Whether it's rain, winds, cold, sleet, snow, or freezing rain, share your pictures.

5 p.m. - Jacksonville might see a flurry or two of snow.

Snowmegeddon 2018, the perfect combination for a blizzard.

Arctic cold mixes with a powerful upper-level low caught up in the Jet Stream which is forcing extremely cold air deep into the South. This will explode into a massive storm that will interact with warm, moist air rising off the still relatively warm Atlantic Ocean. This "bomb" of extreme rapid intensification will impact the entire easternmost coastline of the United States. Blizzard conditions will be possible from the Carolinas to New England. Blizzard conditions are where winds are at or above 35 mph, visibilities are less than 1/4 mile (white out conditions) with blowing/drifting snow all the while heavy snow is falling.

"Thunder snow" is likely along the New England coastline.

Amounts there could exceed 2 feet, New York City around 6", Boston around +12"

Flights across the entire Northeast United States will be severely disrupted there for days.

Wednesday is a Weather Authority Alert Day 
City, county, state respond to winter storm | School closings | Status of bridges, roads | SE Georgia emergency | BLOG: Storm impact

Near freezing today, the real freeze will be Thursday and Friday morning's.

Back to Jacksonville, hard freeze for Thursday and Friday mornings.

On the backside of this powerful storm will be severe cold with temperatures dropping deep into the 20s, even at the beach. 

Pipes (inland), Pets, Plants, People and Pools will need to be protected Wednesday night and Thursday night (into Friday morning).

The past few days have been cold and the cold stay's tough until Sunday morning when milder air finally arrives. The game day forecast looks perfect for football, sunny and cool with highs around 60°.

 

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