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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 01/05/2012

Florida shivers, crops freeze in record breaking cold (PHOTOS)


Air parcel trajectory shows frigid air in Siberia in late December tracked all the way into south Florida Wednesday. Hat tip: ZoomRadar Facebook page
Arctic high pressure that settled over the Southeast brought the Sunshine state record setting low temperatures Wednesday morning.

CapitalClimate reports the following records lows were set in south Georgia and Florida Wednesday:

Alma GA 19 (22, 2001)
St. Simons Is. GA 26 (tie, 2010)
Naples FL 36 (39, 2002)
Gainesville FL 20 (22, 1900)
Jacksonville FL 22 (tie, 1887)
Apalachicola FL 26 (tie, 2010)
Tallahassee FL 18 (tie, 1928)


Icicles cling to oranges in a small grove just after sunrise Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012, in Seffner, Fla. Temperatures in central Florida dipped into the 20s. Farmers spray water on their crops to help keep them around 32 degrees, protecting them from possible freeze damage. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

Pockets of even colder air were detected by satellite according to the CIMSS satellite blog “including a minimum of 10.7 F just southwest of Gainesville in northern Florida, and 15.3 F just to the west of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida.”

The widespread freezing temperatures sent orange-juice futures soaring nearly 3 percent, reaching “more than two-month high” according to the Wall Street Journal.


Carl Groom, of Fancy Farms in Plant City, Fla., sprays his strawberries with water to help protect them from freeze damage Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

In central Florida, as January marks the start of the strawberry harvest season, the cold weather forced farmers to scramble to protect their crop. Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Times, Associated Press and CNN indicated crop damage was limited.

Temperatures Thursday morning in Florida remained unseasonably cold. The National Weather Service in Melbourne reported temperatures dipped to 30-35 with widespread frost in its central Florida forecast area. But these temperatures were about 10 degrees above Wednesday’s record-setting levels. Freeze warnings in the vicinity of Jacksonville in north Florida were being allowed to expire at 9 a.m.

Much milder and more typical temperatures return to Florida Friday and over the weekend.

See a number of additional striking photos of the Florida cold below....


A layer of protective ice covers strawberries in a field Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012, in Dover, Fla. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

A layer of protective ice covers a new strawerry blossom in a field Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012, in Dover, Fla. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

Icicles cling to a fence outside a strawberry field just after sunrise Wednesdy, Jan. 4, 2012, in Thonotosassa, Fla. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

Icicles form a pattern on a fence outside a strawberry field early Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012, in Dover, Fla. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

A fountain in Hemming Plaza in Jacksonville, Fla. is covered in frozen soap suds Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2011. The foamy mix freezes easier in the cold temperaturess, bringing a winter look to downtown. (Bob Mack - AP)

A horse grazes in a frost-covered pasture in Plant City, Fla., just before sunrise Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. Temperatures overnight in central Florida dipped into the 30s. (Chris O'Meara - AP)

Ilene Ackerman bundles up against the cool weather as she watches her boyfriend surf on January 3, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle - GETTY IMAGES)

By  |  10:20 AM ET, 01/05/2012

Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Photography

 
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