Two weeks after the first taste of winter for northwest Florida and south Alabama, another, colder round is on tap for this week.
The same weather system that’s pushing winter storm conditions towards the northeastern U.S. is sending frigid air into the Southeast. For this area, that means the coldest temperatures of the fall on Wednesday – highs in the upper 40s during the day, then dropping into the 20s that evening. Wind chill indices will be in the 20s.
High surf and wind advisories are also in effect for coastal areas, with red flags up at Pensacola and Navarre Beaches.
Meanwhile, local shelters are planning to open Wednesday night. Waterfront Rescue Mission in Pensacola; Ferris Hill Baptist Church in Milton, and three churches in Crestview will rotate in hosting a shelter – Community of Christ, on 1st Avenue Wednesday night, New Beginnings Thursday, and First Presbyterian Church on Friday.
State and local emergency officials are urging residents to exercise caution in the cold. That includes staying indoors and using safe heating sources. Be sure to shelter or bring inside pets. And if you must venture outdoors, wear multiple layers of warm, loose-fitting clothing. Also, don't burn yard debris on windy days or when humidity is below 30 percent. And when you do burn, never leave a fire unattended and make sure it is out before you leave.
This round of chill is expected to move out by the weekend, with high temperatures returning to around 70 degrees by Sunday and Monday.