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More Arctic Chill Is Coming


  One week after the first taste of winter for northwest Florida and south Alabama, another, colder round is on tap for the next couple of days. Shelters are gearing up as the temperatures go down.

According to the National Weather Service in Mobile, a cold front is pushing through the area, bringing with it will push through our area later today. Forecaster Joe Maniscalco says this is an atypically cold air mass for November, for the central Gulf Coast.

“Monday and Tuesday nights, we look to be well down into the 20s,” said Maniscalco. “The coldest night will be coming on Tuesday night. Temperatures possibly over the interior getting down to near 20 degrees. Down along the coast, we expect to be into the mid-20s or so.”

Maniscalco adds that the nighttime readings could very well meet or break several temperature records across the region.

Meanwhile, local shelters are planning to open, as is the practice when nighttime lows drop below the 40-45 degree mark. Waterfront Rescue Mission in Pensacola will operate a shelter, as will Ferris Hill Baptist Church in Milton, where Pastor Brian Nall and volunteers are getting ready for tonight and Tuesday evening.

“All of our supplies are ready to go,” Nall said. “The Red Cross has already brought our cots, and our blankets are ready to go. We had volunteer training Sunday a week ago, and so our volunteers are ready to begin serving. We had planned on launching as normal on December 1st, but the weather took a turn a little early.”

Anyone of any age who is homeless or heatless is welcome to come to the Ferris Hill Shelter. Pets, however, are not allowed.

This is the seventh year Ferris Hill has offered a cold-weather shelter. Nall says they’re fortunate in that they’ve managed to acquire new partners in that time, to help provide a place to go for those needing one.

“In the south end of (Santa Rosa) County, another shelter was able to open,” said Nall. “We were able to give some guidance to them. About two years ago another men’s shelter opened up – Second Chance Outreach (in Milton). But we do know there are gaps in the area. There’s not a shelter for women in the area.”

Crestview’s Cold Weather Shelter Program will also open tonight and Tuesday night. First Presbyterian Church at Highways 85 and 90 will open the doors from six until eight o’clock this evening. Community of Christ Church on West 1st Avenue will provide shelter on Tuesday.

After the winter blast the next couple of days, forecaster Joe Maniscalco says look for a bit of a warmup, as temperatures moderate later this week.