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Hard freeze warning issued for Tampa Bay
Cold night shelters Wednesday and Thursday nights
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The National Weather Service canceled the freeze warning for Thursday morning and replaced it with a hard freeze warning in effect from midnight to 9 a.m.

Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing across northern Pinellas County shortly after midnight and remain below freezing until mid-morning Thursday, the NWS said. Residents can expect the temperatures to drop to the upper 20s around sunrise - colder in areas farther away from the coast.

Expect temperatures below 27 degrees for up to four hours.

A hard freeze warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely. These temperatures will kill sensitive plants. The NWS advises to cover or bring in plants. Pets also should be brought indoors.

A wind chill advisory also is in effect from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday. Northerly winds of 10 to 20 mph will continue near the coast with winds of 5 to 10 mph in interior locations. The winds will combine with cold temperatures to produce “several hours of very cold wind chills,” the NWS said. Readings will range from the lower teens in the north to the lower 20s in the south. Expect the lowest readings around sunrise.

A moderate risk of rip currents at area beaches as strong northerly winds continue over coastal waters through Thursday. A small craft advisory remains in effect for all offshore waters. The NWS advises fishermen and small craft operators to postpone trips until conditions improve.

A fire weather watch has been issued for Thursday afternoon due to low humidity conditions associated with cooler and drier air moving into the area. The NWS said humidity readings will fall below 35 percent for about four hours, increasing the risk of rapid spread of fires.

Cold night shelters are opening for the homeless in Pinellas County on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 12-13. The shelters will open between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for adult men and women. Shelter guests are provided with a hot evening meal, a warm safe place to spend the night and breakfast before the shelters close at 6 a.m.

Supplies such as paper products, coffee, twin-size blankets and sandwiches are always needed. Volunteers are welcome. For more information, contact Michael Amidei at 543-2600 or Cliff Smith at 464-8448.

Families with children are placed in motels on cold nights and family coordinators make the arrangements. For help in Clearwater, call Lewis Hill at 644-4795. In St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park, call Jim Leiby at 433-2115. In Tarpon Springs, call Mary Dekasin 479-2914.

The Salvation Army Clearwater may be able to provide shelter to homeless families, according to Pinellas County Communications. Please call Kip Corriveau at 446-6507 for availability of rooms.

Shelters for adult men and women

- Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 110 S. Ft. Harrison Ave., Clearwater, FL 33756. Church Phone: 442-3677; Capacity: 75

- St Cecelia Catholic Church, 820 Jasmine Way, Clearwater, FL 33756. Church Phone: 447-3494; Capacity: 45; backup shelter

- Trinity Church of the Nazarene, 1000 55th St. S., Gulfport, FL 33707. Church Phone: 321-1598. Capacity: 20

- Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast in Pinellas Park, 7790 61st St. N., Pinellas Park, FL 33781. Phone: 574-5437; Capacity: 250. Transportation to and from this shelter and downtown St Petersburg will be provided by Boley Inc. Call John Greenwood, transportation coordinator at 637-3277.

- Northwest Presbyterian Church, 6330 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33706. Church Phone: 544-4551; Capacity: 75

- Salvation Army, 1400 Fourth St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Phone: 822-4954 or 687-8414; Capacity: 25

- The Turning Point, 1810 Fifth Ave. N., St Petersburg, FL 33713. Phone: 823-7811 or 641-1903; Capacity: 25

- St Timothy’s Lutheran Church, 812 E. Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689. Phone: 937-3503; Capacity: 25
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