JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It seemingly took until mid-November for summer to come to an end but now we are getting fairly regular shots of cold air. Wednesday morning will bring our first inland freeze of the winter.
Basically, this morning's chill is just a taste of Wednesday morning.
This morning's feel-like temperatures (chilly wind) will start in the 30s and despite beautiful sunny skies, cold air will continue to build throughout today. The impact will be for a strikingly chilly sunny day. Despite super sunny skies, our afternoon high temperatures will be in the 50s. Our average January temperature is a low of 45° and high of 64°, we will be below these values the next few days.
Inland Freeze watch will soon be upgraded to an inland freeze warning for Wednesday Morning.
We average about 17 days with freezing temperatures each winter (November through March), which means we will be dealing with many more cold/freezing days ahead. And in terms of severity, Wednesday morning's freeze will not be an extreme freeze (those typically occur in January and early February.)
Trouble is, it will be one of the first freezing morning's of this winter and we have historically seen a spike in the number of house fires/fatalities and injuries associated with folks trying to stay warm.
It's easy to say, be safe while staying warm. Yet, I hear the stories of overloaded circuits, people trying to use open flame, including leaving a fireplace going at night or using the oven to heat a house. These are huge no-no's.
Additionally, if you know of some one elderly that may need a little extra assistance staying warm please check on them so that the chill doesn't stress them to the point of making a fatal mistake.
Breaking down the 5 P's: People, Plants, Pets, Pools and Pipes.
People. As you have heard me mention, my biggest concern about early season freezes are fire possibilities. This is easily the greatest threat to the freezing/near freezing mornings we will see through Friday morning. Make sure your fire/smoke detectors / alarms are working, battery changed. This is also a good idea with the holiday season, Christmas trees will be going up and they can dry out very rapidly.
Plants. The big struggle. Do you cover or not? And what needs covering? Well, this particular freeze will not be severe and that means only exotic tropical plants, will need to be protected. Or, you could repot and move them indoors. On the other hand, citrus trees around Jacksonville (I-295) to the beaches will not need to be covered as freezing temperatures will be brief (<2 hours) and not much below freezing. If, however, you live well inland, you will want to protect your citrus. Some of these trees are nearing harvesting so, in those normally colder locations, you will again need to protect your trees/citrus.
Pets. It goes without saying, cold will stress your pets out and they will need some place warm with extra food and fresh water as they try and keep warm.
Pipes and Pools. No issues, as Wednesday morning's freeze shouldn't be all that penetrating. FWIW, temperatures that drop into the 20s (or colder) with gusty winds are the conditions that can cause severe damage to unprotected pipes/pools.
Here are the expected lows for Wednesday morning.