In the wake of the storm set to spread snow from Kentucky to the southern mid-Atlantic, winter cold will have the southern United States shivering this week and protecting sensitive vegetation.
“The cold blast will bring temperatures more reminiscent of mid-January than mid-March,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
While temperatures will be held 5-15 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in most communities across the South early this week, Wednesday is expected to be the chilliest day of the week.
“Highs will not get out of the 40s in places such as Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta on Wednesday,” Pydynowski said.
A high in the lower 60s is more common this time of year in each of these cities.
A brisk wind will create lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.
However, the stronger March sun will help to offset the chill. Residents will notice a difference in sunny, sheltered areas and cars when compared to being exposed to the breeze.
“Farther south, even cities such as Tallahassee, Florida, may struggle to reach 60 F on Wednesday,” Pydynowski said. “The normal high for Tallahassee in January is 63 F.”
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 waters Tuesday through Thursday.
With highs in the middle 60s are expected in Daytona Beach and Tampa and the lower 70s in Miami these days, the water temperature will be same or slightly higher.
Spring breakers across Florida may also find themselves needing a jacket at night and in the morning hours from Tuesday to Thursday.
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.
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.
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.
Following the freeze late last week, farmers should prepare to take any preventative measures possible to protect their crops.
Peach trees have already blossomed across South Carolina due to the warm February and can be threatened by the upcoming cold.
However, latest indications are that temperatures will not drop to as low as whatdevastated South Carolina’s peach crop last March. Lows similar to what was recorded last Friday night are anticipated.
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.