How to handle the cold air as freezing temps hit Tampa Bay area this weekend

Stay warm by dressing in layers; be careful with space heaters
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Posted at 10:06 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 15:40:13-05

TAMPA, Fla. — With arctic air expected to move down into Florida this weekend, you'll definitely need to take some extra precautions to stay warm.

Saturday is the day when the cold arrives before sunrise. Expect strong winds and temperatures in the upper 40s all day.

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A cold front will move across the area late Friday followed by the coldest temps of the season and potentially of the past few years over the weekend.

If you're planning on going to the Gasparilla parade, try to find a place with sun. Plan on wearing layers, like long-sleeve shirts under t-shirts and jackets, as well as hats, gloves, and scarfs.

Long johns under your jeans will also help as the wind will make it feel much colder when standing around for a long time. Doubling up on socks in your shoes, especially if they're thin or breathable, will also help your feet stay warm.

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When the sun goes down Saturday night, that's when temperatures will really plummet. Many places away from the immediate coast may spend several hours below freezing.

The temperatures may be some of the coldest we've seen in four years.

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Cold Weather Tips

Bring your pets inside, if it's too cold for you then it's too cold for your pets. If that's not possible, try to give pets shelter in a garage, covered porch, or beneath a carport — all of which can provide a few additional degrees of much-needed warmth.

The biggest impact will be on agriculture. Bring in plants that are not tolerant of the cold, if that's not possible consider covering plants with blankets or plastic sheets.

Although winds will be noticeable Saturday and Sunday, driving the wind chills into the 20s and 30s at times, plants do not experience a wind chill.

Larger trees/shrubs will see some frost-burn during this time. These damaged leaves will wilt and fall off, leading to new growth in the spring.

The temps will not be cold enough to entirely kill most cold-intolerant trees.

Areas north of Tampa may experience a hard freeze. That means temperatures will not only fall below freezing for a long time but may actually dip into the mid-20s.

In these areas, exposed pipes may have enough time to freeze. To prevent this, you can let the water trickle out of faucets or spigots.

If you're concerned about indoor plumbing, it's the pipes that run through exterior walls that are in the most danger. In these cases, opening up cabinets under sinks can help warm air reach these areas and keep them a bit warmer.

Most areas, however, should not see temps cold enough to cause such extreme problems.

Space Heaters
Do not use space heaters when sleeping or without being monitored. Heaters that burn gas/propane should never be used indoors as they use up available oxygen and can also produce carbon monoxide, which has no color or odor.

Do not use ovens or stoves to heat a space either. These can easily lead to a fire.

The National Fire Protection Association offers this checklist when using a space heater:

  • Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Keep the heater at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including people.
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
  • Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
  • Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
  • Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic
  • Never block an exit.
  • Keep children away from the space heater.
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.

Freezing conditions can cause major damage to your pool and burst the pipes. The damage could cost you thousands. Experts at Leslie's Pools suggest keeping your pump running. Also, check your water levels, add water to maintain proper levels. Salt pools should have the proper amount of salt.

As the temperature drops, so does tire inflation, so don't be surprised if your tire pressure indicator light turns on. Goodyear said air pressure in tires typically goes down one to two pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.

Well Pumps