Cold blast arrives! Repeat next week?

By Blake Mathews - Meteorologist
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The long-advertised cold blast roared through the area overnight, bringing with it ferocious winds and the chilliest temperatures of the season and wind and inland freeze advisories for our area.

It doesn't end there though, we may be in for a repeat next week and the week of Thanksgiving. 

The polar cold front moved in around midnight, bringing with it very gusty winds and a slow but steady fall in temperatures. 

The winds may have been responsible for knocking power out to about 85 customers in the Arlington area as winds whipped tree branches around causing power lines to arch. 

The strong push of cold air will keep the temperatures in Jacksonville very chilly for Wednesday with many areas struggling to get out of the low 50s for highs. The clouds that are lingering behind the front will limit the amount of warming we see across the area. If the clouds break then we can expect temperatures to nudge into the mid and upper 50s -- a small, negligible difference.

The other part of this story is the wind. Wednesday morning at Jax Beach, the winds were gusting as high as 46 mph according to the National Weather Service.

Other coastal communities like St. Augustine also had winds exceeding 40 mph. Expect the sustained winds along the coast to remain in the 15 to 25 mph range with gusts as high as 45 mph.

Inland locations will see a small reduction in these winds but a breezy, blustery day can be expected with winds between 10 and 20 mph.

Overnight, the clouds should begin to break and the winds should abate. This will allow for the temperatures to plunge into the low 30s for many inland locations in southeast Georgia as well as areas well inland along I-10. Therefore a Freeze Warning has been issued for Suwannee and Hamilton counties as well as many of the counties in Georgia -- excluding the immediate coastal regions.

Here in Jacksonville, no freeze is anticipated thanks to breezy conditions. Locally the temperatures are expected to bottom out around 40, with a few of the colder locations hitting the upper 30s. 

This cold blast won't last long. By Friday, temperatures will once again return to the mid and upper 70s with an increasing chance of rain over the weekend. But this wild ride isn't over. A week from today, another strong push of cold air may arrive with nearly identical conditions to Wednesday.

The Euro and GFS models (two of the more reliable models used in forecasting) indicate that the highly amplified pattern we're in will continue allowing shots of cold air to continue to break off out of Canada and head our way. That means cold conditions are possible a week from now as well as the week of Thanksgiving. Pictured is the GFS model for next Wednesday. It's always subject to change but that's the way it looks now. We'll keep you updated.

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