The University of Florida’s campus in the Gainesville area is not immune to winter weather and cold temperatures. The average date of the first freeze is December 4th and the average date of the last freeze for the season is February 24th. In total, the Gainesville area averages 16 days per year with low temperatures at freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) or below. Although rare, the area has experienced freezing rain, sleet and even snow.
What to Know
Freeze WATCH = sub-freezing temperatures are possible for a minimum of two hours.
Freeze WARNING = sub-freezing temperatures are expected for a minimum of two hours.
Hard Freeze WATCH = temperatures less than 27 degrees Fahrenheit are possible for a minimum of two hours.
Hard Freeze WARNING = temperatures less than 27 degrees Fahrenheit are expected for a minimum of two hours.
Wind Chill Advisory = very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate low wind chills which could result in frost bite and hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
What to Do
- When extreme cold weather is in the forecast, it is important to remember the “5 P’s of Cold Weather Safety.” The 5 P’s are:
- Protect People: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly who are the most sensitive to cold weather.
- Protect Pets: If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.
- Protect Plants: Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.
- Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.
- Practice Fire Safety: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.
The Gainesville record for the greatest number of consecutive days with a low temperature at or below freezing is 13. It occurred January 2-14, 2010. The all-time record low recorded in Gainesville is 6 degrees Fahrenheit on February 13, 1899. (Source: National Weather Service-Jacksonville)
Get More Info
Extreme temperature information from Florida Hazardous Weather Guide
Winter Weather Safety and Awareness from the National Weather Service