Tallahassee residents are no strangers to cold weather, but as temperatures continue to drop this week some residents feel they may have gotten a preview of what’s to come. Wednesday night marked the beginning of a nearly three-day long cold snap that has seen the temperature fall to a staggering 31 degrees throughout the course of the night.
The temperatures have set new daily lows in what Kelly Godsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, described as an “unusual” trend compared to October’s expected conditions.
“For this time of year, around the 18-20th of October, our normal low is about 57 degrees,” Godsey said. “As of Wednesday night our record low was 33 degrees, breaking the previously recorded low of 36 degrees and we saw that continue with a new low for Thursday night at about 31 degrees that has garnered a lot of people’s attention and probably led to them turning the heat up a bit this morning.”
Godsey noted that while the recent change in the weather has certainly been unexpected, it is not something that is completely out of the ordinary for the month of October. The cold spell residents are experiencing is caused by the passing of storm systems from as far north as Canada and the northeast that resulted in a relatively strong cold front that has reached the Gulf Coast, she said.
“While this is weather that we typically see about two weeks from now near the beginning of November, this is only the second earliest freeze Leon County has experienced with the first being around the same time as Oct. 18, 1985,” Godsey said. “We may have set daily lows but there are no new record temperatures for the month of October and the amount of freeze people may experience is more closely related to the region as areas near Bannerman Road and Bradfordville experienced slightly higher temperatures at around the high 30s and into the 40s.”
Alyssa McNeil, a second year FSU student, spent Thursday morning defrosting her car. She said she typically enjoys cooler weather but found the sudden change a bit shocking.
“I’m from Georgia so the weather in the fall can get a little chilly but for it to go from being only kind of cold yesterday to there being ice on my car window is a little more than I was expecting to deal with before class,” she said.
Andrew Mitchell who commutes to FSU by bus, said the drop in temperature was noticeably different in the early morning as compared to the later parts of the day.
“I’ve never liked the cold, so I only come out in sweats on the days I have an early class,” Mitchell said. “It’s been freezing the last couple days but I’m at school through at least one in the afternoon so it’s something I’m gradually learning to deal with.”