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First freeze of the season expected tonight for parts of Florida

A Freeze Warning is in effect Tuesday night into Wednesday morning over Florida’s western Panhandle. Temperatures could fall below freezing before dawn on Wednesday, thanks to the arrival of an early season cold front.

On Tuesday morning, a cold front pushed through the Panhandle and North Florida. The boundary is forecasted to track the entire length of the Sunshine State by late Tuesday evening. Behind the cold front, high pressure continues to build over the Northern Plains, and winds behind it are ushering a dry and cold airmass southward toward the Southeast.

By Wednesday morning, the polar airmass should have arrived to the Panhandle and North Florida. Temperatures over interior Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties could fall near or below freezing, and in anticipation of those conditions, the National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for the region. Along the immediate Emerald Coast, lows are not expected to get as cold, and should drop to the low 40s. Farther east, toward the Forgotten Coast, Big Bend, and North Central Florida, overnight lows on Wednesday morning are forecasted to dip into the low 40s and upper 30s.

Throughout the day Wednesday, the airmass should continue sinking southward and below average temperatures should engulf the entirety of the state by Wednesday afternoon. Highs will likely range from the low 40s in the Panhandle to the 60s over South Florida. Lows Thursday morning should range from the 30s over the Panhandle to the upper 50s and low 60s over South Florida.

The cold snap is expected to persist through the end of the workweek before temperatures rise back to average levels during the weekend.