Chilly temperatures expected. How low will they go?
Today: high 58, low 38
Wednesday: high 62, low 40
Thursday: high 64, low 52
Friday: high 60, low 41
Saturday: high 58, low 40
Protect your houseplants from frost
Water your plants in the heat of the day to help create steam when the weather turns cold, keeping the soil a few degrees warmer. Never cover your plants with plastic. Use sheets instead that are weighted down or tied above branches. Plastic exacerbates frosting on plants.
_ Source: David Burd, owner of Friendly Burd Tree Service in Naples
NAPLES — Naples may be in for a record-breaking cold streak as a wave of arctic air is expected to plow through the Sunshine State on Friday on the back of this past weekend’s cold front.
Monday’s mercury reading meant three consecutive days below 45 degrees and the cold weather isn’t expected to let up until Thursday. That’s just in time for another blast of frigid air Friday.
The back-to-back cold fronts could match or surpass a record in Naples with six consecutive days of 45 degrees or lower.
“What’s different about this is the extended period of time that we’re staying cold,” said Chuck Caracozza, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The likelihood of sub-freezing temperatures prompted a freeze warning for eastern Collier County from 1 to 8 a.m. today and a freeze watch from tonight to Wednesday morning.
Thursday night may be slightly warmer, with lows in the lower 50s.
The last time Naples saw six consecutive days of temperatures below 45 degrees was December 1989. The record was eight days in January 1977.
Temperatures on Friday are expected to plunge to between 38 to 42 degrees.
About 40 people have already taken advantage of Naples and Immokalee shelters to escape the cold. Immokalee Friendship House took in about 20 people Sunday night and expects to be open the rest of the week, pushing its resources to the limit.
“When we get 10 or more people it starts to get a little tight on space,” shelter manager John Bianco said.
Mike Vallee, St. Matthew’s House program director, saw their numbers jump Sunday night as well from five people to 22.
“Once the word gets out that we’re open, people living out in the woods or abandoned cars come in,” Vallee said.
The upcoming chill also has farmers’ attention as they try to protect cold-sensitive crops.
“You definitely keep an eye on it but the further out the forecast is, the less accurate it is,” said Nick Batty, owner of Inyoni Organic Farm on Immokalee Road.
His crops, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs, haven’t received any damage, he said.
Lisa Lochridge, spokeswoman for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, said the organization touches base with growers during this type of weather to take stock of possible damage, but all has been quiet so far.
“The temperatures weren’t really low enough to do any significant damage but we still have several nights of cold,” she said.
Citrus takes a hit when the thermometer falls below 28 degrees for four hours.
“At least as the forecasts stand now, that doesn’t appear that it’s going to get that low,” Lochridge said.
Eva Worden is co-owner of Worden Farm, an organic multi-crop farm in Punta Gorda that sells food at a North Naples farmer’s market.
She said protecting some crops from the cold can be tricky but it can also be good.
“In some cases, those crops are sweetened by the cold weather,” Worden said. “Like kale, it’s even better when it’s been kissed by the cold.”
Connect with Tara E. McLaughlin at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tara-mclaughlin/