Expect another freezing night in Florida

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As temperatures drop across Florida, residents are searching for ways to keep more than just homes warm.

Everything from crops, to pets, even planes, were affected by the unusually cold weather on Thursday.

At sunrise, Southwest Airlines turned to deicing equipment to make sure the cold didn't interrupt travelers plans.

De-icer was sprayed on the wings of eight Boeing 737 planes.

"It's unusual in Florida, but it does happen. Usually one or two times a year it gets cold enough," said Emily Nipps, spokesperson for Tampa International Airport.

The weather still impacted the planes of many other airlines flying into Tampa.

Hundreds of travelers at TIA arrived to find their flights had been delayed or canceled Thursday.

"We do have a lot of cancellations. We've got, as of [noon], 54 cancelations, primarily to the northeast," said Nipps. "People definitely need to keep an eye on their flight status if they're flying out today or tomorrow."

Keeping an eye on the temperatures is a necessity this week for farmers across Central Florida.

A dip below 32 degrees can dry out strawberry crops.

PHOTOS: Snow in north Florida

Growers in Wimauma relied on sprinklers overnight to protect their strawberry crops. The water caused a thin coat of ice to form on the strawberries, locking in the temperature on the fruits at 32 degrees.

"This is what insolates this plant," explained Todd Jameson, manager of Berry Bay Farms.

Protecting pets during the cold snap will be a priority at the Humane Society of Pinellas County.

Humane officials put out a plea on Wednesday for extra blankets to keep their dogs warm during the day outside and during the coolest temperatures after dark.

"At night, as we take them inside, now we're setting up kennels internally, so we are actually having double load. Double laundry, double dirty, double clean," said Humane Society Director Twila Cole.

Officials said they are now in need of more laundry detergent to keep the blankets clean and sanitary for all the animals.

Cole advised pet owners to make sure they are caring for outdoor pets during the colder weather. She said all animals should be brought inside. Outdoor cats, at the minimum, should be provided with a shelter from the wind and a comfortable place to stay off of the ground.

"Bring your pets inside, very simply. We are not acclimated here as Floridians for these cooler temperatures, and therefore, our pets aren't either," said Cole.

The Florida Department of Health is offering advice as well on how to deal with the wintry conditions. The department advises avoiding drinking alcoholic beverages in cold weather. They cause the body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, opt for drinks like hot chocolate or tea to maintain body temperature.

LINK: Tampa Bay area weather forecast

Except for the immediate coast, temperatures across the state will dip below freezing early Friday morning.  A hard freeze warning – meaning temperatures below 28 – will be in effect from 1 to 9 a.m. for the northern Bay Area counties.  A freeze warning – meaning temperatures below 32 – will be in effect for most of the rest of the area.

Pinellas County, urban Tampa, and the coast down to Sarasota are not included in the warnings. The warmer Gulf water and urban cores will keep those areas slightly warmer.

Forecasters say Friday night will be similarly chilly, and even Saturday night won’t be much warmer. Temperatures will finally begin getting back to normal on Sunday and Monday’s high temperature could hit 70.