Thursday, December 31, 2009

ARCTIC COLD FRONT TO BRING BELOW-FREEZING TEMPERATURES COLD WEATHER ACROSS FLORIDA NEXT WEEK

State officials are urging residents and visitors throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark next week. Temperatures could reach the lower 20s away from the coast across northern Florida and near the freezing mark as far south as Lake Okeechobee.

“An arctic cold front will move through the state this weekend and result in much cooler morning temperatures. The colder airmass behind this front will produce a widespread freeze across much of Florida this weekend as well as many mornings next week,” said Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors across the state should prepare for an unusually long period of freezing or subfreezing temperatures each morning that could harm vegetation, pipes, animals and people.”

Durations of freezing temperatures will range from 5-7 hours inland and 2-4 hours near the coast. Freeze Warnings could be issued for a large portion of Florida, with Hard Freeze Warnings likely for much of North Florida through the middle of next week.

Residents and visitors should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety. The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.

The following actions are important safety measures:
Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles, keep such devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Indoors: Do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills that produce carbon monoxide. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor in your home.
Outdoors: Stay dry and in wind-protected areas.
Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.
Drink non-alcoholic fluids.
Shelter or bring inside animals, especially pets.
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