Our network

Weather

Disaster planners urge preparedness; tornado drill on Wednesday

Disaster planners urge preparedness; tornado drill on Wednesday

Sarasota, FL -- A statewide tornado drill will take place at 10:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. It's part of Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week.

On the morning of the drill, all participants should consider themselves under a Tornado Watch. You should monitor the weather and be prepared to go to a safe place in the event of a tornado warning. At 10:10 a.m., the National Weather Service forecast offices serving Florida will transmit a practice tornado warning which will be broadcast as a "Routine Weekly Test" through NOAA Weather Radio.

Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane says it's a good time for residents to think about how to protect themselves and their homes from harm when any kind of severe weather threatens.

Tourism industry: "Snow better time to visit Florida!"

Tourism industry: "Snow better time to visit Florida!"

PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida - Taking advantage of a brutal winter in the Northeast, "Visit St. Pete/Clearwater" is preparing to blitz blizzard-ravaged New York City with beach-themed ads over the next few months.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is planning $700,000 worth of ads for New York subways, elevators, newspapers, buses, television stations, magazines, and airports.

Of the 6 million overnight visitors to Pinellas Co. each year, 20 percent come from the Northeast, more than any other region.  Their estimated direct economic impact is over $1 billion.

"(When) you've already had three years worth of snow dumped on your city," said David Downing with the visitors bureau, "you're looking for a way out."

Pinellas cold shelters open tonight and tomorrow

Pinellas cold shelters open tonight and tomorrow

Pinellas County, FL -- The cold night shelters will be open for the homeless in Pinellas County tonight and tomorrow night.

The shelters accept adult men and women throughout the night, starting between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and close the following morning at approximately 6 a.m.

Shelter guests are provided with a hot evening meal, a warm safe place to spend the night and breakfast the following morning.

Supplies such as paper products, coffee, twin-size blankets and sandwiches are always needed.

Pinellas gets Freeze Watch, escapes Hard Freeze Watch

Pinellas gets Freeze Watch, escapes Hard Freeze Watch

Pinellas County, FL - An arctic front is heading to the Bay area, including a Hard Freeze Watch in effect for all counties except Pinellas, which has a Freeze Watch.

* Lake Wind Advisory in effect this afternoon into the evening. Sustained winds of 20mph likely with higher gusts on area lakes.

* High Surf Advisory in effect this afternoon through Tuesday. 5 to 8 foot surf expected with offshore waves of 10 to possibly 15 feet. Dangerous rip currents likely.

* Small Craft Advisory in effect through Tuesday. Seas build today to 5 - 8 feet then 9 - 12 feet tonight through Monday. Slow improvements into Tuesday.

* Gale Warning in effect for offshore waters out 20 nautical miles and beyond. Winds increase to 25 - 35 kts with gusts over 40 kts. Seas 10 - 15 feet.

Forecast: Pinellas only Bay county to escape Freeze Warning

Forecast: Pinellas only Bay county to escape Freeze Warning

Pinellas County, FL - Pinellas residents are slightly better off than their neighbors during the Bay area's latest cold snap. You can see the zoom radar for the area here.

A large Canadian high pressure has plummeted south into the eastern U.S. bringing cold air all the way down to Florida. We are waking up to Wind Chill Advisories this morning and Freeze Warnings for tonight and likely tomorrow night. That cold air is blowing in on northwest winds that will stay in the 10-20 mph range through this afternoon. A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued until 9 a.m. for Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties as it will feel like 30-35 degrees at times this morning. Skies will be clear and sunny today, but the cold air will only allow us to warm to the mid 50s today when the typical high is 73!