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Winter's last gasp to blow in on Friday

Published March 22, 2006

What could be the last blast of cool air for several months will move into the area Friday, dropping high temperatures into the 60s through the weekend and overnight lows into the 30s in Hernando and Citrus counties.

"It's pretty likely the last big cold front," said Jennifer Colson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

With longer and warmer days, cold fronts from the north are less likely to make it all the way to Florida, she said.

The latest front, expected to drift through Florida on Friday, also will bring drier air.

That dryness, coupled with winds reaching 15 to 20 mph, may create fire hazards this weekend in such counties as Polk, Sumter, Citrus and Hernando.

"When the soil gets dry and the relative humidity drops, we hit critical levels," said meteorologist Anthony Reynes.

Last week, two fires scorched 900 acres in Polk County and a brushfire burned 500 acres near Sebring, where the many acres of undeveloped land covered with dried brush and pine trees remain a concern, firefighter Miles McGee of the Sebring Fire Department.

[Last modified March 22, 2006, 23:55:02]

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