Alachua County is under a winter weather advisory and could get freezing rain, electrical outages and possibly ice, the National Weather Service said.
The advisory and a winter storm warning covers Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, according to a advisory released at 3:42 p.m.
Scott Cordero, a meteorologist at the NWS office in Jacksonville, said the lows in the area will range from 23 to 33 degrees and the highs will range 37 to 63. Wind chill will make temperatures feel colder, he said.
Meteorologists expect between a quarter to a half-inch of rainfall, some of which could be freezing rain, rain that is at freezing level, early Wednesday. There could be small flakes of snow.
UF spokesperson John Hines, said the university is continuing to monitor weather conditions, but will remain open tomorrow and Thursday. He said classes are still set to start on Monday.
Cordero warned the freezing rain could bring black ice, rain or other precipitation that has fallen, melts and then refreezes when it reaches 32 degrees again. He said black ice, which can pose a danger to drivers who may lose steering capabilities and the ability to skid, could be expected after sundown. He said the worst effects could occur between 7 p.m. tonight and 8 a.m. tomorrow in northern Gainesville. Tonight and tomorrow will the the only days with freezing rain.
“One of the dangers of black ice is that you really can’t see it,” Cordero said. “Even though there’s clear skies out, people wouldn’t expect ice.”
Cordero said the freezing rain and long duration of freezing temperatures is unusual at this time of year. He said the weather is due to an arctic high pressure moving down the Florida peninsula, with gulf moisture above shallow cold air and rain in Florida. The last time Gainesville experienced long duration freezing temperatures occurred in 1989.
Cordero warned freezing cold temperatures will go on until Sunday morning.
“Remember, exposure to the cold can cause hypothermia or frostbite and become life threatening, especially for yourself or your pets,” he said.
- Wednesday: Low - 33 degrees, High - 37 degrees
- Thursday: Low - 25 degrees, High - 45 degrees
- Friday: Low - 23 degrees, High - 46 degrees
- Saturday: Low - 25 degrees, High - 51 degrees
- Sunday: Low - 32 degrees, High - 63 degrees
Wind chill, around 7 a.m.:
- Wednesday: feel like 25 degrees
- Thursday: feel like 16 degrees
- Friday: feel like 18 degrees
- Saturday: feels like 20 degrees
- Sunday: feels like mid-20’s