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Winter Weather

Even though Jacksonville is in Florida, we can still experience dangerous winter weather. Extreme cold, dense fog, and even ice and snow storms are possible during the winter months. Dangers from these weather conditions include unsafe roads, cold-related illness, fires, and power outages. 

Winter Weather Alerts
When there's a winter weather risk in Jacksonville, the National Weather Service will issue alerts and warnings.
Monitoring for a Frost Advisory or Extreme Cold Conditions
The potential for a Frost Advisory or Extreme Cold conditions will be highlighted in the NWS Jacksonville Daily Briefing and via official NWS Jacksonville forecasts.
Frost Advisory
A Frost Advisory is typically issued when there is widespread frost across Jacksonville. A Frost Advisory is not issued for the same zone within a county where a Freeze Watch/Warning is in effect.
Freeze Watch
A Freeze Watch is issued when there is a potential for temperatures between 28°F - 32°F within the next 24-48 hours.
Freeze Warning
A Freeze Warning is issued when temperatures are expected between 28°F - 32°F for at least 2 hours within the next 24 hours.
Hard Freeze Watch
A Hard Freeze Watch is issued when there is potential for temperatures expected to be less than or equal to 27°F within the next 24-48 hours.
Hard Freeze Warning
A Hard Freeze Warning is issued when temperatures are expected to be less than or equal to 27°F for at least 2 hours within the next 24 hours.
Monitoring for a Wind Chill Advisory or Extreme Cold Conditions
The potential for a Wind Chill Advisory or Extreme Cold conditions will be highlighted in the NWS Jacksonville Daily Briefing and via official NWS Jacksonville forecasts.
Wind Chill Advisory
A Wind Chill Advisory is typically issued when the wind chill is between 6°F - 25°F, and the wind speeds are greater than or equivalent to 10mph for greater than 3 hours.
Wind Chill Warning
A Wind Chill Warning is typically issued when the wind chill is less than or equivalent to 5°F, and the wind speeds are greater than or equivalent to 10mph for greater than 3 hours.
During Extreme Cold
Stay Warm:
  • Stay inside in heat during extreme cold. 
  • If you have to go outside, wear layers, a hat & gloves and carry a cell phone.
  • Check on neighbors, children, the elderly & chronically ill to make sure they are okay.
  • Bring pets inside.‚Äč

Stay Informed
  • Stay informed about current weather conditions.
  • Know the symptoms of cold-related illness. 

  5 P's of Cold Weather Preparedness
Places To Stay Warm
Use the map below to locate places where you can stay warm and out of the cold during the winter months in Duval County. 

Cold Related Illness

Know the signs of cold-related illness:

Signs of Hypothermia

  • Shivering or fumbling hands
  • Exhaustion or drowsiness
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Bright red, cold skin or very low energy in infants

Signs of Frostbite

  • Redness or pain in any skin area
  • White or grayish-yellow skin area
  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • Numbness
If you or someone you know shows these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, or go to the emergency room. 
Keep Your Pets Safe During Extreme Cold

If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pets

  • Bring all pets inside and out from the cold temeratures.
  • If you are unable to bring pets inside you must provide a shelter that protects from cold winds and rain, along with access to clean, unfrozen water.

Contrary to popular belief, pets are not insulated from the cold just because they have fur. Just as with people, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause conditions such as hypothermia, frostbite and even death in animals.

Stray animals will seek warmth wherever they can find it.

  • Cats left outdoors often crawl into a warm car engine to get warm.
  • When that engine starts up the cat can be seriously injured or killed by the fan blade or belt.
  • It’s much safer to keep your cat indoors in cold temperatures.
  • Always honk your horn or tap your hood before starting your car to scare any cats from under your vehicle.
  • If you have outside cats you take care of, either let them in your garage or build them a shelter with bins and boxes filled with blankets or hay.
Stay Warm Safely
Space Heater Safety
  • Keep them at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Plug heaters directly into the wall socket, and not into extension cords. 
  • Check the cords on electric heaters before using. If the cord is frayed or splitting, discard the heater. 
  • Any repairs to heaters should only be performed by a qualified licensed appliance repair person. 
  • Keep anything that may burn at least 3 feet away from the heater. 
  • Never allow children to play with, or around, the heater. 
  • Never place anything inside the grill on the front of the heater.
  • Unplug heater when they’re not being used. 
  • Do not place anything on top of extension cords such carpets, rugs, or textiles.
  • Turn them off when leaving a room or going to sleep and never leave them unattended.
Fireplace Safety
  • Keep flammable items, such as furniture and decor, a safe distance from the fireplace.
  • NEVER leave the fireplace unattended. Ensure that it is fully extinguished before you leave or go to bed.
  • Keep a watchful eye on children and pets to ensure their safety around the fireplace.
  • NEVER overload the fireplace with wood, and remember to use a screen or glass doors to keep sparks from escaping.
  • Use only seasoned wood, never use green wood, plastic artificial logs, paper, or trash. 
  •  Make sure the chimney flue is open before the fireplace is used.
  •  Clean interiors, hearths, and chimneys yearly. 
  •  Have your chimney inspected by a professional at least once a year and have it cleaned if necessary. 
  •  Ashes should be removed in a metal container. Never store ashes in or near your home as they may rekindle.
Generator Safety
  • Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows, and vent openings. 
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open. 
  • Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors, or other openings in the building.
  • Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height. 
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running. 
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas. 
  • When plugging in appliances, make sure they are plugged directly into the generator or a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. 
  • If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and all applicable state and local electrical codes.
Smoke Alarms
  • Smoke alarms save lives!
    • The best level of protection is to install alarms in every bedroom and every hallway on every floor. 
    • Minimum protection installs smoke alarms outside bedrooms and on every floor. 
  • DO NOT install smoke alarms in the kitchen or bathroom. 
  • Test the batteries monthly. 
  • Keep smoke alarms away from air vents. 
  • Place smoke alarms at least 4 to 6 inches away from walls and corners.
  • The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department provides and installs free smoke detectors to qualifying residents. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near bedroom areas and family rooms, for extra protection; place one about fifteen feet away from your home’s heat source. 
  • DO NOT install them near air vents or fans. 
  • Test your CO Detector each week by pressing the test/silence button to make sure that the alarm sounds. 
  • Keep your CO detectors dust free by vacuuming air vents regularly.
Candle Safety
  • Before you light candles put them in a non-tip candle holder. 
  • Never burn candles near combustible decorations or displays. 
  • Keep candles well away from curtains and other combustibles, and never put candles in windows or near exits. 
  • Don't leave candles burning unattended or within the reach of small children or pets. 
  • Extinguish candles before you leave a room, go to bed, or leave home. 
Remember: NEVER use an oven or other appliance not designed as a heating device to warm your home.
Prepare Your Home For A Hard Freeze

Leave your faucets on a slow drip.

  • To help prevent frozen pipes, run a spaghetti-thin trickle of water from the one faucet farthest away from your water meter when temperatures approach 32 degrees.
  • Please run just a thin trickle. If residents across the city run more than that, it can contribute to a water pressure drop.

Open your cabinet doors to expose pipes.

  • As an added precaution, open any cabinet (or regular) doors that hide the pipes under your sinks.
  • This allows the heat from your home to “thaw out” the pipes and prevent condensation from freezing.
  • If you have pipes in an unheated part of the home like a garage, try to keep them as warm as possible. Heat tape is a great solution for situations like these.

Be prepared to turn off your water (or disconnect hoses).

  • Disconnect outdoor hoses.
  • Know where to find the main water shutoff to your property in case a pipe does break.
  • As temperatures climb and the ice thaws, be on the lookout for leaks around your property.

Turn up the thermostat

  •  Make sure you leave the heat on at all times during a extreme cold weather.

  • Use a programmable thermostat to customize the temperature in your home. Set it to one temperature while you’re home and another while you’re at work, school or asleep.
  • Set the thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature (recommended setting is 60 degrees). The lower the temperature is, the slower it loses heat and the more you save on your energy bill.

Dealing with a burst pipe?

If you experience a pipe burst in your home, turn off your water and drain your plumbing.

  • To do this, locate the main water line from your water meter. 
  • There should be a valve where the line enters your house. Turn it off. Then run all your indoor faucets to drain water from your pipes.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and hoses to your washing machine. 
  • As with any leak on private property, call a plumber immediately.

Register for ALERTJAX notifications so you can be informed when potentially dangerous cold impacts Duval County.