Cold front brings Arctic air to The Villages - The Villages Daily Sun: News

Cold front brings Arctic air to The Villages

By LISA LAWSON, Daily Sun Staff Writer | Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 8:00 am

“Baby, it’s cold outside.”

That familiar tune may make you feel warm and cozy on the inside as the holiday season comes to an end, but when it comes to the weather, it speaks the truth to what is about to hit The Villages.

Residents and visitors dealt with rain, wind and temperatures in the 40s on Monday as the beginning of a massive cold front affecting much of the Eastern United States blew through the area to kick off 2018 — and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

The Accuweather forecast for The Villages calls for temperatures reaching no higher than 50 this week, with lows that could dip just below freezing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Entertainment on all three town squares was canceled Monday, but a few brave residents still faced the weather to maintain some of their regular routines.

“Every morning, me and a few of my friends meet at Starbucks in Lake Sumter Landing at 5 a.m.,” said Alex Szuch, of the Village of Bonnybrook. “I have been coming for a few years and we don’t let the cold weather stop us.”

Here is a look at what Villagers can expect from the weather this week:

How cold will it get?

National Weather Service meteorologist John McMichael said the cold front moving through the region now is pulling in arctic cold air and will likely last the rest of the week.

“There is a chill advisory until 10 a.m. Tuesday and temperatures will only be reaching the mid-40s,” McMichael said. “It will be very cold the next several days.”

Jerry del Castillo, staff meteorologist for AM-640 WVLG, said the temperatures could dip down into the low to mid-20s starting on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be a little cold out there,” Castillo said. “However, by the end of the weekend, the rain will be gone and the temperature will start to warm up again.”

Could it really snow here?

While snow is a possibility for some Southeast states and the northernmost parts of Florida, Castillo said that it is not likely that flurries will hit The Villages region, despite temperatures being cold enough.

“There is no indication that snow will fall, but it will be cold,” Castillo said. “The weather expected is not conducive to snow.”

Despite the lack of snow, The Villages is forecast to see some harsh rain and wind during the week.

“Tuesday night after midnight, the rain will come back,” Castillo said, “making Wednesday the coldest day of the week.”

Frost is also a possibility through the rest of this week.

How long will this cold weather last?

Castillo said the cold front is expected to affect the area the rest of this week and into the weekend.

“By late in the weekend it will warm up again,” Castillo said. “Sunday it will get up into the 60s and by Monday the high will be 74 and low 53.”

How can residents prepare for the cold weather?

Castillo said that people need to be sure to stay informed and prepared during the cold front, especially if traveling to an area where the cold rain could turn into a wintry mix or ice.

“If you or loved ones are traveling, check to see what the weather will be during your travel,” Castillo said. “If you’re going to be out in the car, the weather can change all of a sudden and you can be stranded. Make sure to take water, food and blankets.”

Castillo also recommended bringing any outdoor pets inside during the cold front to ensure they stay safe.

Lisa Sanderson, UF/IFAS residential horticulture extension agent in Sumter County, said that residents can prepare outside plants by adding mulch to cover roots and making sure that plants are watered well.

For safety purposes, Villages Public Safety Fire Chief Edmund Cain recommended turning the heat on during the daytime when you are home to burn off any dust that may have settled, and to make sure that if you are using a space heater, to keep it a safe distance away from flammable materials such as curtains or even a Christmas tree that you may still have up.

Residents can keep up with the weather by listening to AM-640 WVLG.

Lisa Lawson is a staff writer with The Villages Daily Sun. She can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5304, or lisa.lawson@thevillagesmedia.com.