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Man examines a frozen fig.

Winter Works Its Way to Us

Morning frost on leaves and grass. 02-04-21.
As the year winds down and the days grow short,
the calendar reminds us what will come:
sooner, later, colder weather. Cavort
now while you can, before your hands go numb.

In north Florida too, the winter will arrive,
a little later than in northern climes,
but still our temperatures will take a dive.
Be real: will you be ready when it’s time? 

“It’s Florida,” you may think, “how bad could it be?
The forecast calls for seventy degrees.”
From day to day it might stay this warm,
but now and then we get a winter storm.

According to “Dealing with a Florida Winter Weather Event,” in the last 10 years:

  • Florida winter weather events are fairly rare; however, they can and did occur as recently as March 2016 during a hailstorm in Orlando with 1-foot drifts.
  • In January 2014, a very rare ice storm hit northwest Florida, with ice extending to the Gulf Coast.
  • In February 2010, some parts of northern Okaloosa County reported 4–6 inches of snow.

This article, written by Randall Cantrell, Judy Corbus, and Michael Spranger, provides basic guidelines to adhere to during and after a winter weather event, as well as a list of items to include in a Florida winter weather survival kit. 

As with any severe weather event, preparation is key. This article also includes explanations of the five Cold Weather Preparedness Ps: (1) Protect People; (2) Protect Pets; (3) Protect Pipes; (4) Protect Plants; and (5) Practice Fire Safety. Now, while it’s warm, iis the perfect time to learn these five points and start your kit.

As always, Ask IFAS or your local UF/IFAS Extension agent any follow-up questions you may have!