Tampa hits freezing mark for first time in 7 years

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For the first time in several years, Tampa has reached the freezing point.

The last time Tampa plummeted to 32 degrees or below was on January 13, 2011, or 2,562 days ago, according to FOX 13 Meteorologist Dave Osterberg. Before sunrise, temperatures in Tampa reached 29 degrees and all Bay Area counties was under a hard freeze or freeze warning.  

Ice even formed along the Veterans Expressway this morning, forcing crews to close parts of the highway.

When you factor in the wind, it feels much colder, Osterberg said. For those living in northern counties, including Pasco County, it will feel as though it’s between 15 to 20 degrees when you step outside. For counties south of the Pasco County line, it will feel like it's between 20 to 30 degrees.

“All your winter gear is needed for today,” said Osterberg. “This is Florida. It’s crazy.”

Throughout the day, temperatures will reach above freezing, but northern and inland counties could drop back to the low 30s by Thursday night. 

For now, some Florida residents like Adam and Cindy Meid in Lutz, are having a little fun with the freezing temperatures and their snowmaker. "Adam Meid has been making snow since 4 a.m. It's perfect! Getting better as the humidity goes down," said Cindy Meid, who sent FOX 13 video of their snow-filled Florida backyard.

The good news is the frigid air won’t stick around. For those attending Saturday’s Gasparilla Children’s Parade, temperatures will reach a high of 70 degrees and by Sunday, the Bay Area will return to the mid-70s.