PINELLAS COUNTY – The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday. A small craft advisory also is in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Forecasters said that gusty north to northwest winds, trailing behind a cold front that passed through the area Tuesday morning, would combine with temperatures at or near freezing to generate cold wind chill values overnight.
“Anyone venturing outside should be prepared for colder than normal temperatures and should plan accordingly,” the advisory said.
A wind chill advisory is issued when wind chill index values are expected to drop to 35 degrees or lower for three or more hours. Wind chill is forecast between 23 and 33 degrees on Wednesday morning and could be even lower on Thursday.
Pinellas County’s cold weather shelters will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday. People who need a warm place to stay can go to one of five shelters, starting between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Guests will receive a hot evening meal and breakfast the next morning. The shelters close will close about 6 a.m. each day.
For more information about the shelters, call Michael Amidei at 727-543-2600 or Cliff Smith at 727-464-8448.
Small craft advisory
A small craft advisory is in effect for all areas for Tuesday and Wednesday. Forecasters said that northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph with gale force gusts would generate rough conditions and building seas beginning Tuesday afternoon and continuing into late Wednesday.
Strong northwest winds are forecast to spread above normal high tides and rough surf to shorelines in Pinellas, as well as Pasco and Hernando counties, on Wednesday. The NWS said some minor beach erosion and coastal flooding was possible.
Dry conditions combined with the gusty winds are forecast to generate a “period of critical to near critical” conditions over northern areas on Tuesday afternoon. A red flag warning is in effect. Great care should be taken with all fire sources.