Northern visitors thankful to be on Suncoast during brutal winter storm

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SARASOTA, FLA. - Some of the coldest temperatures in two decades will cover the northern and central parts of the country on Sunday. Brutal, dangerous and extreme are just a few of the adjectives being used to the describe much of the weather to our north.

Those from the north like Jim McCluskey are glad to be in sunny Florida. McCluskey is spending some vacation time in Sarasota after driving his sister here from Indiana. He spoke with his wife on the phone Sunday morning.

“She said it is cold. Don’t ask me the temperature, it is just cold, it is under 5 and that is just cold,” said McCluskey.

States in the mid-west are getting pounded with up to a foot of new snow. Joan Wagner, from Indiana was enjoying the sunshine at Siesta Key Beach Sunday when she got a call from her daughter.

“My daughter works at an outlet mall and they had to close it down because the weather is so bad and they’ve got what probably 15 inches of snow and it is supposed to snow at nine o’clock tonight” said Wagner.

The arctic cold front blanketing the country will cause temperatures to be 30 to 50 degrees below average. Wind chill warnings stretch from Montana to Alabama because the extreme temperatures will produce life threatening wind chill values as low as 60 degrees below zero

The Tisdall family from Regina, Saskatchewan knows extreme temperatures.

“Oh my goodness, you run a lot from one place to the next or you bundle because seriously, your eyelashes freeze” explained Tara Tisdall. She said her family is very glad to be visiting the Suncoast and she has been bragging on social media about the warm Florida weather.

“Yeah, we’ve got to rub it in to our friends that we are in at least in the pluses here and they are in minus 40 Fahrenheit [in Saskatchewan].”

Staretta Fowler from Albany, New York is visiting a friend in Sarasota. She says her friends in New York have been keeping her posted on the weather.

“They are like maybe you better stay there. You don’t want to come back to this weather.”

Jim McCluskey doesn’t want to leave the sunshine either.

“When Friday gets here, I hope my flight is cancelled,” he said with a laugh. That way he can continue enjoying our little slice of Suncoast paradise.