Arctic blast of air takes over first week of 2018

By: Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 1, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A cold front moved through North Florida and South Georgia on New Year’s Eve, and it will continue to push through the rest of the Florida Peninsula.

Now, cold and dry air overhead will bring some of the coldest weather of the season.

A blast of arctic air is over much of the U.S. The center of that area of high pressure will continue to push south through the Southeast U.S. this week. This air will keep daytime highs in the 40s through much of the workweek and lows will be in the mid 20s.

Monday night will be the first night of the dangerously cold air. Clearing skies will allow temperatures to drop into the mid 20s into Tuesday morning. Add in winds from the north at 5 to 15 mph and it will feel like anywhere from 12 to 20 degrees outside.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee has issued a wind chill advisory for the entire WCTV viewing area from 7 p.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Early, Dougherty, Tift, Clinch and Echols counties in Georgia are also under a hard freeze warning until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Suwannee and Hamilton counties are also included in that warning. Temperatures will be in the mid 20s in those locations for several hours. It will be a good idea to cover or bring in sensitive plants.

Take pets indoors and be sure to check on elderly neighbors.

An area of low pressure is expected to develop in the Atlantic Ocean near the east coast of Florida on Wednesday. This low will bring a small chance of showers for the eastern fringe of the WCTV viewing area. Some forecast models are calling for a possibility of a frozen wintry mix in places closer to Jacksonville. This is still a few days out, so the forecast for timing and confidence in whether we will see that mix is highly uncertain.

The possibility of a wintry mix in places like eastern Suwannee, Lafayette, and Hamilton counties is extremely small. The chances for a mix of rain and ice will be higher in Southeast Georgia and areas east of Clinch county.

The dry air in place is not helping with those shower chances. If you’re planning on traveling east on Wednesday, remember that bridges and overpasses freeze first. As far as timing goes, as of January 1, it looks like most of the showers will reach Northeast Florida on Wednesday afternoon. Rain chances for the local North Florida and South Georgia area will be at 20%, most of the region will not see any rain that day.

Overall, the week will be full of below-average temperatures. Morning lows from Tuesday through Saturday will be in the mid 20s. Highs will be in the mid 40s through Tuesday and closer to the low to mid 50s through the rest of the week. Be sure to bundle up every morning and evening!

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