For all the things Floridians have to deal with, one thing residents of the Sunshine State don't do very well is cold.
With temperatures dipping into the 30's in the Tampa Bay area Sunday night, it was layer time. Folks braving the chilly temperatures were bundling up.
"I should have on at least three or four layers underneath," explained Temple Terrace resident Emerson Salmon. "I only have two."
Business owners were also making final preparations for a frigid overnight.
"We like it on and off cold," said strawberry farmer Carl Grooms.
He was up late Sunday night and early Monday morning at Fancy Farms in Plant City. Grooms did what he could to protect his valuable crop.
"We're going to be watching the thermometers," Grooms said. "[We'll be] watching the wind, watch the cloud cover and if we see frost begin to form on these bushes out here we'll be cranking our sprinklers up. The water will protect the small blooms; it will protect the small berries."
Grooms adds that this brief cold spell won't do a thing to prevent next week's strawberry festival from being a huge success.
"All indications are we'll come through this fine," he says. "We'll have plenty of berries for that and probably more than they can handle."
Meanwhile in Tampa, the community is coming together to protect those who don't have a warm place to go.
"Our primary focus will be the families; we don't want families on the streets," said Metropolitan Ministries Presidents Tim Marks. "We don't want them sleeping in their cars."
Marks' organization provides emergency shelter for any family in need of cover from the cold. They also assist similar shelters in the area with food preparation.
"We want to get hot meals to those other shelters that have opened up - shelters in Wimauma, Brandon and Town and Country," Marks said.
Temperatures are expected to get back to normal by mid-week with the thermometer reaching 80 degrees by next weekend. By late Monday, temperatures will be back on the rise.
"It happens so infrequently that it's a nice change," says Conall Keenan of Sarasota. "It's nice to get your cardigans out every once in a while."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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