ORLANDO, Fla. – Christmas is off to a cold start and will stay cold through Christmas Weekend. It hasn’t been this cold on Christmas Day in Central Florida since 1995. Even with dominant sunshine, high temperatures only top out in the low-to-mid 50s. The breeze will stay gusty out of the northwest making it feel even colder.
Winds will gradually relax Christmas Night allowing temperatures to plummet into the 20s and 30s. It has been 1073 days or nearly three years since it has gotten this cold in Central Florida. The temperature at OIA fell to 27 degrees on Jan 18 2018.
Widespread frost is possible Saturday morning west of I-95. Cover or bring in any sensitive plants to avoid damage. If you’re up before the sun comes up Saturday, have the ice scraper or something to clean your windshield with handy. It’s also a good idea to again bring the pets indoors.
A freeze is also likely across most of Central Florida, meaning temperatures have the opportunity to dip to 32 degrees or lower Saturday morning. The best chance for a hard freeze, temperatures of 28 degrees or lower, will occur northwest of Orlando. This will kill plants if action is not taken. Unprotected outdoor plumbing could also be damaged, especially where a hard freeze warning is in effect for western Marion county.
To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes, wrap or drain the pipe. Allowing a slow drip to run through the pipe can also prevent bursting. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, it may be a good idea to drain or cover any pipes above ground to prevent possible damage.
Don’t be surprised if your tire light comes on in the cold weather. Like humans, air molecules huddle close together when it’s cold and take up less space in your tire. The air will expand one it warms when you start driving or the weather warms back up. Keep an eye on the tire pressure once you start driving as it’s not safe to drive on tires with low air pressure and it may not be the cold causing the issue.
While the breeze will be lighter Saturday morning, it will still help wind chills, how the air feels on your skin, fall into the 20s for most of Central Florida. The wind chill only impacts living thigs and doesn’t have an impact on things likes water or pipes.
The exception will be along the coast where wind chills will be in the 30s.
Temperatures stay cold Saturday after the frigid start with highs once again only topping out in the low-to-mid 50s.
A gradual warming trend returns early next week, Most of the week ahead will be dry.