Wintry weekend ahead

01/17/2014 8:12 AM

01/18/2014 7:16 AM

The weekend promises to stay wintry.

Another cold front sweeping into South Florida on Saturday morning is expected to prolong winter’s visit through Sunday.

With Art Deco Weekend unfolding on Ocean Drive, the mercury will plunge to as low as 42 degrees Saturday night in metro Miami and hit about 40 degrees in the Redland area.

“Saturday night will be the coolest of the weekend, around the low 40s,’’ said Robert Molleda, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “It’s going to be another chilly night and morning.’’

Miami area growers who monitored crops through the night to Friday morning remained vigilant about Saturday’s outlook, but were relieved the cold likely didn’t cause damage.

Early Friday, irrigation sprinklers cast a mist over many fields in south Miami-Dade. The goal was to protect delicate ornamental plants and winter crops from potential frost.

“We had to stay up all night and watch the weather,” said Kim Hosang of Kimsue Foliage in Homestead. “Our fingers are crossed, but we followed the protocol ... and got the water on in time.”

Hosang won’t know for a few days whether her crops sustained any damage, she said, since young plants and seedlings are especially susceptible to cold.

Grower Rusty Garrison of Medallion Nurseries was optimistic. “We didn’t have any problems,” he said. “We got lucky.”

Emergency homeless shelters that opened extra beds and offered meals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties extended the operations through the weekend.

The cold spell should begin to sputter soon. “Sunday will probably have a high near 70,’’ Molleda said. “After a chilly morning, it’ll recover nicely.’’ Monday, which is Martin Luther King Day, also should see a high close to 70 degrees, with lows mostly in the 50s, the National Weather Service forecast.

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