Expected to see the winter weather locally are the coastal areas of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

Anyone that's tired of watching the white stuff fall in other parts of the country may have it in their backyard by Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued an official Winter Weather Advisory that states a wintry mix of light freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected to hit the Emerald Coast.

With an arctic cold front approaching from the west, an official Winter Weather Advisory stretching from Alabama to Panama City is in effect from noon Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

During that time period, according to the weather service:

A wintry mix of light freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected to develop along the immediate coast late this evening before turning to light snow before ending late tonight. Light accumulations of freezing rain of less than a tenth of an inch are expected. Snow accumulations are generally expected to be less than one-half inch.

Expected to see the winter weather are the coastal areas of Mobile and Baldwin County in Alabama, plus the coastal areas of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

In the advisory, the weather service noted that temperatures will fall well below freezing Tuesday night, so any lingering ice or light snow accumulations on area roadways will cause slick travel conditions even after precipitation ends.

Also remaining in effect is a Hard Freeze Warning that will run from 11 a.m. Wednesday until 9 a.m. Thursday. Overnight temperatures Tuesday through Thursday are currently forecast in the low-to-mid 20s with wind chill values well into the low teens and single digits in some areas.

ORIGINAL STORY

With a blast of arctic air sweeping across the country, the National Weather Service has issued an upcoming Hard Freeze Warning for Northwest Florida.

Early Tuesday morning the weather service issued the hazardous weather statement beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday and extending until 9 a.m. Thursday.

The Hard Freeze Warning will extend from Baldwin County in Alabama across the Emerald Coast to Walton County.

It also remains in play that the area will see a wintry mix from late in the afternoon Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday. That Winter Weather Advisory was also issued early Tuesday morning.

With the weather system approaching from the west, the weather service noted that snow accumulations are generally expected to be one-half inch or less, though a burst of locally heavier snow may bring isolated totals up to or just over an inch, mainly over inland areas.

The weather service warns residents that during the period temperatures will drop from the mid-teens to around 20 degrees.

A Hard Freeze Warning means temperatures of 20 degrees or lower are expected. These temperatures can cause exposed water pipes to burst. If you have any exterior open air piping, ensure the pipes are adequately covered and open the faucet slightly for a small stream of water overnight.

Across the Panhandle there are numerous weather advisories in effect.

Winter Weather Advisory

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect east of Okaloosa County with the possibility of a light snow dusting possible in cities such as DeFuniak Springs, Freeport, Chipley and Panama City.

That weather advisory is in effect from 9 p.m. Tuesday until noon Wednesday.

Wind Chill Advisory

In conjunction with the Winter Weather Advisory, the same region across Northwest Florida is under a Wind Chill Advisory for the same time period.

The weather service noted that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frost bite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.

Fire Weather Watch

In the areas of Northwest Florida from Walton County to the Big Bend the weather service has also issued a Fire Weather Watch.

A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. Listen for later forecasts and possible Red Flag Warnings.

The danger is with forecast winds at 15 mph from the northwest and minimum relative humidity near 28 percent, any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

Be prepared

Check on elderly neighbors to make sure they have adequate heat. Area shelters should continue to expect increased demand. Outdoor pets and livestock should also have adequate warmth.

Take adequate safety precautions with heating systems, and make sure to utilize carbon monoxide detectors in enclosed spaces. Ensure space heaters are not left unattended and are not used near flammable materials such as curtains or bed coverings.

Space heaters account for one out of every three home heating fires and four out of five home heating fire deaths.