Freezing nighttime temperatures to expand across southern US this week

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 14, 2018, 11:44:11 PM EDT

In the wake of the storm that brought snow from Kentucky to the southern mid-Atlantic, winter cold will have the southern United States shivering this week and make it necessary to protect sensitive vegetation.

Following the chilliest day of the week, Wednesday, temperatures are forecast to plummet under clear skies Wednesday night.

"The cold blast will bring temperatures more reminiscent of mid-January than mid-March," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

Following the freeze late last week, farmers should prepare to take any preventative measures possible to protect their crops.

Wednesday night is expected to be the coldest with temperatures dropping into the upper 30s in Orlando and the rest of central Florida.

Farther south, Miami is expected to record a multi-day stretch of nighttime lows in the lower 50s. Lows near 65 are more common in mid-March.

Across the Florida Peninsula, vacationers may find the air temperature less than desirable to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico through Thursday.

While the citrus crop is not expected to be in danger across the Florida Peninsula, the impending cold may threaten sensitive plants and crops farther to the north.

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Temperatures are expected to dip into the upper 20s in many communities across South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and the interior of northern Florida on Wednesday night. Even parts of eastern Mississippi will endure these frigid lows.

Residents will once again have to cover or bring outdoor plants inside. In homes and buildings where water pipes are exposed or poorly insulated, faucets should be left on a slow drip.

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Peach trees have already blossomed across South Carolina due to the warm February and can be threatened by the frost and freeze.

However, latest indications are that temperatures will not drop to as low as what devastated South Carolina's peach crop last March. Lows similar to what was recorded last Friday night are anticipated.

Those spending time on spring break across Florida may also find themselves needing a jacket at night and in the morning hours.

With highs in the middle 60s expected in Daytona Beach and Tampa and the lower 70s in Miami these days, the water temperature will be similar or slightly higher.

Winter’s chill is expected to finally release its grip on the South and give way to a surge of milder air Friday into the new weekend.

As milder air settles over the South, a reinforcing blast of cold air will settle into the Northeast to greet those heading back from spring break to end this week.

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