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First Freeze Of Winter Expected Tonight in Florida Panhandle

Rarely does nature follow the precise flip of the calendar, but as hurricane season officially ends tonight, winter arrives in Florida.

The season's first freeze is likely across inland areas of the Florida Panhandle Tuesday morning, and subfreezing wind chills could dip as far south as the I-4 corridor in Central Florida.

A Freeze Warning is in effect tonight for all inland areas from Florida's Big Bend to Pensacola. Tuesday morning lows in the warned area will range from near 30 along the I-10 corridor to around 32 just a few miles from the coast. Temperatures are the beaches will fall to between 32 and 35. A Freeze Watch is in effect for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning across a large section of North Florida, when lighter winds and an even colder push of air will likely send the mercury below freezing in those locations.

A brisk north wind Monday night will send wind chills (what it will feel like) to the middle and upper 20s across most of the Florida Panhandle and North Florida by 7 am, and wind chills near or just below freezing are possible as far south as the outskirts of Orlando, Tampa and Lakeland.

This early winter-like air mass will make it all the way to South Florida as well, where Wednesday morning lows could fall to the lower 40s and upper 30s in outlying areas near Fort Myers, Naples, and Miami.

The cold snap will likely linger through Thursday, before temperatures gradually moderate back to normal for early December by the end of the week.

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Jeff Huffman