Quick cold blast, then warming for Christmas - FOX 13 News

Quick cold blast, then warming for Christmas

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Northern and inland Bay area counties will be under freeze warnings Friday night, as a quick blast of cold air moves into the area.

It won't last long – with temperatures expected to rise again early next week – but FOX 13 meteorologist Dave Osterberg said Pasco, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter will see a freeze.

In the Tampa metro area, temperatures will drop quickly Friday, with winds gusting upward of 30 mph.

"The overall net result, between cold air coming in and the sunshine trying to warm us up, is the cold air is going to win," Osterberg said.

Highs this weekend should stay in the mid-to-low 60s, with lows in the mid 40's. On Christmas Eve, highs are expected to return into the 70s.

Here are some of his tips to protect your plants from the freeze:

1) Use sheets or blankets to cover cold sensitive tropicals and cover them all the way to the ground, trapping every bit of radiant heat from the soil.

2) Never use plastic. Cold goes right through plastic and damages plants.

3) It's best if the soil is moist so plants can stand up to the dry wind that usually accompanies our cold fronts. But DO NOT water plants while the temperature is below 32 degrees.

4) Don't uncover plants too soon. Wait for an afternoon warm-up before you remove your blankets, etc.

5) Resist the temptation to trim off cold-damaged leaves and stems. They're a plant's best defense against future freezes.

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