Abnormally Cold Weather Grips the South, Even Floridians are Breaking Out Their Coats
When people in Florida start tearing apart their closets, looking for a heavy coat, you know it’s cold. Granted, afternoon highs were only in the 50s for a lot of locations in the Sunshine State on Tuesday. But, when your body is acclimated to the 70s and sunshine, a 20 degree drop in afternoon highs can make Tampa feel more like Toronto.
But the cold air is entrenched across much of the Deep South — from Mississippi to South Carolina people have been bundling up.
Places like Atlanta, Ga., Birmingham and Huntsville, Ala. only saw highs top out in the mid-and upper 30s. That’s nearly 30 degrees below normal for those cities. Highs in the 40s were recorded as far south as Panama City Beach, Fla.
And it looks like that bitterly cold air is here to stay, at least for a couple of days. Wednesday morning lows will range from low teens in the North Georgia Mountains to the low 30s in Panama City Beach, Fla.
Hard freeze warnings have bee issued for a wide swath of southern Alabama, southern Georgia and northern Florida. This means any tender vegetation, exposed to the very cold air, could be irreparably damaged. This has farmers — especially citrus farmers — watching the weather very carefully. Move tender plants indoors, if possible.
The cold weather is likely to persist through Wednesday. The airmass beings to moderate and warm, moving into the latter part of the week. The is welcome news for the cold-weary south.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond