Record lows hit Tallahassee

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 used its back-up generator 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, saying temperatures could 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 may bring temperatures to the low 20s and the 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 going to 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 aid during the cold weather.

Marlon A. Walker can be reached at Aricka M. Foreman can be reached at