January 9, 2010

Freeze Report Update 6, Jan.9

Following are the latest updates relating to the current freeze that is gripping our state. This report will be updated as soon as events and/or measures occur. (updated 1:45PM)

- Snowflurries were recorded in Central FL this morning at dawn
- Temperature is struggling to get up, some areas still experiencing sleet and rain
- NWS Melbourne issued a freezing rain warning till 1:00pm

Tonight's Forecast:

South FL
Lake Okeechobee to southern tip of the mainland: 29-38degrees
Freezing temperatures for 3-6hrs
Winds will be up so with the wind-chill factor it will feel colder.

Central FL
Lake Okeechobee north to I-4: 26-31degrees
Freezing temperatures for 6-12hrs
Longer duration of freezing in the interior
Western interior of peninsula 27degrees for 4-8hrs

Big Bend/Panhandle
17-24degrees at least for 12hrs
Tallahassee Sunday with wind-chill 7degrees
Note: no specific city temperatures due to windchill and regional topography it is difficult to give accurate forecast. Some low lying areas might see record lows.

DOT - St Lucie bridge still closed, update forthcoming

Power - No capacity or delivery concern at this moment

Red Cross
- Have opened more shelters from Escambia down to Charlotte on the West coast and down to Belle Glade on the East coast
- Overflow is experienced in most locals
- Non-gov't agencies (churches, community centers) are opening as well

Note:FEMA allocates $13.3 million yearly for community assistance, the counties have been informed

Strawberries - It appears that last night's temps were at or just above the freezing point in most strawberry production areas, so our situation is still about the same. Harvesting has been severely slowed as has new fruit generation on the plants. However we still believe that plant damage is within expectable tolerances. Tonight will be the ultimate test with long duration of dangerously low temperatures. We all hope mitigation procedures continue to provide adequate crop protection. We will better see the full amount of residual damage about a week after it warms up to normal.
(Ted Campbell, FSGA)

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