ORLANDO, Fla. – Keep the heat on in the house and don’t put those sweaters away yet — this weekend, we’ll see the coldest weather in Florida since 2018.
Morning lows will be in the 20s and 30s Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures will only get as high as 49 degrees on Saturday and 55 degrees on Sunday.
The cause: a Nor’easter that will blanket New England with snow and drop temperatures across the country.
The northern and western part of Central Florida could see a hard freeze, while other parts of Central Florida are under freeze and frost advisories. You can find the complete list of advisories for your area on ClickOrlando.com.
Here’s everything you need to know about the freeze this weekend.
Normally the average highs for Central Florida are in the low 70s, so Saturday’s and especially Sunday’s highs are pretty cold. But the records for this coming Sunday are even colder.
Back on Jan. 30, 1966, record temperatures in the Central Florida area barely broke 30 degrees. Check out some of the recorded temperatures for that day.
- Leesburg: 25
- Daytona Beach: 26
- Sanford: 27
- Melbourne: 30
- Orlando: 31
Meanwhile, every once in a while, the temperatures in the area dip below that 70-degree mark for a long stretch.
The Orlando area saw temperatures below 70 degrees for five consecutive days this week, but Thursday’s and Friday’s highs reached into the 70s.
The longest stretch of temperatures below 70 degrees was 17 days and happened in January 1892. So we did not break any records with that latest cold snap.
Meteorologist Candace Campos has details on this particular record.
Heating your home
If you haven’t turned the heat on in your home yet, now is a good time according to experts with Del-Air.
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They said if you wait until temperatures are colder, your heating system will need to work overtime to warm up the house and maintain it.
News 6 talked with Del-Air’s president about the best advice for setting your thermostat.
If you’re planning to use a space heater, be sure to make sure there is nothing around the device by setting up a three-foot perimeter, according to Orange County Fire Rescue. You’ll also want to avoid plugging your heater in with an extension cord.
This is all in order to prevent any house fires, OCFR said.
Also, if you plan to use a generator because of a power outage, turn it on outside and keep it about 10 feet away from your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you’re planning on using your fireplace this weekend, Orange County Fire Rescue has some things to remember in order to do it safely:
It's going to get COLD this weekend! Here are some tips for those who have a fireplace! pic.twitter.com/nDX3xOG1jA— OCFire Rescue (@OCFireRescue) January 28, 2022
People, plants, pipes, pets, practice fire safety
The five P’s of cold weather safety are important if you want to protect your home and family from plummeting temperatures this weekend, so let’s review them.
People: Now is a good time to check on elderly family, friends and neighbors and make sure they are good to go for this weekend. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to hypothermia.
Plants: Tropical plants don’t do well in colder weather. If you can bring your plants indoors, do so. If not, we have some good info on how to cover your plants and other ways to protect them here.
Pipes: If you have any exposed pipes, you will want to cover those to prevent freezing. You’ll also want to open any outdoor faucets just slightly to get them to slowly drip, also to prevent freezing and breaking. If you have a pool, be sure it’s at a proper water level, remove the automatic pool cleaner and store it, and try to make sure water is running through the pipes.
Pets: With the exception of animals that are bred for the cold weather, the rule of thumb is “if you’re cold, they’re cold. Bring them in.”
Practice fire safety: Adding to the advice above regarding space heaters and generators, the Florida Division of Emergency Management reminds us to never use fuel-burning devices such as grills indoors, ensure that your chimney is clear of obstacles before using your fireplace, and to be attentive to open flames.
Cold weather shelters
Finally, cold weather shelters are opening in Central Florida counties ahead of the freeze, not just for the homeless but for anyone who needs a warm place to stay.
By county, here are some options:
- Brevard County: Shelters will be open Friday through Sunday at the following locations:
- LifePointe Ministries, Titusville Civic Center at 4220 S. Hopkins Ave.
- Central Brevard Sharing Center at 113 Auror St. in Cocoa
- HELPS Community Initiatives at 4505 W. New Haven Ave. in Melbourne. Call 321-473-8863 to pre-register,
- Flagler County: The Sheltering Tree will open its cold-weather shelter at The Church on the Rock at 2200 N. State Street in Palm Coast. The shelter opens at 5:30 p.m. each evening and will close at 9 a.m. to following day.
- Orange County: There are a number of cold-weather shelters in the county. The three main ones are:
- Coalition for the Homeless at 18 N. Terry Avenue in Orlando
- Salvation Army at 416 W. Colonial Drive in Orlando
- Orlando Union Rescue Mission at 3300 W. Colonial Dr. in Orlando