Tallahassee residents are feeling the wrath of a series of weather patterns that moved into the area Thursday afternoon and caused temperatures to drop to dangerously low levels.
More than 3,500 homes were temporarily without power and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital put its back-up generator to use Friday morning because the city broke power usage records to combat the dropping temperatures.
“A high pressure system moved in to the area,” said Senior Forecaster Mark Wool of the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee station. “It brought quite a bit of wind with it.”
The city is seeing its coldest weather since 1989.
The National Weather Service issued a severe weather alert over the weekend, expecting temperatures to reach single digits.
Wool said high winds that accompanied Friday’s cold weather front should have settled over the weekend, but cold weather will continue into the middle of next week.
“This is not Florida weather,” said Justin Briscoe, 19, a sophomore economics student from Los Angeles.
Sunday night’s cold front was expected to bring temperatures back to low 20s and mid to high teens, Wool said. He said after Tuesday, temperatures should start to resurface in normal capacities.
City of Tallahassee spokeswoman Halle Calaberse said residents should keep thermostats around 68 degrees and dress warmly to combat rising utility bills.
“(The system) is not gonna last long,” Calaberse said.
Aja Robinson, a sophomore economics student, said when the temperature gets bad, she naturally prepares for the worse.
“Either way it goes, if you hate the cold, you hate the cold,” said the 20-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo. “You hate it but you get use to it, like if somebody repeatedly smacks you in the face.”
Officials at the American Red Cross suggest people “freeze proof” their homes and be cautious of the hazardous conditions. They are also offering assistance to people who need help during the cold weather.