PANAMA CITY, Fla. WEATHER (WMBB) — An very strong arctic air mass will plunge into the Southern United States come Thursday night.

This will send temperatures near freezing and below freezing through the Christmas weekend for the Florida Panhandle.

Before the front moves through the region on Friday, Wednesday and Thursday will remain generally mild, with high temperatures ranging through the mid 50’s and 60s. Overnight Wednesday, in addition to the overcast sky, scattered showers will be possible.

Scattered showers are expected to stick around long enough, for commuters to notice Thursday morning and afternoon. Ahead of the cold front passing Friday, Thursday’s high temperatures will boost slightly warmer, in the mid and upper 60s.

This will be the Panhandles’ last day when temperatures are closer to the average for some time. Morning temperatures will plummet Friday, with readings throughout the 20s and 30s expected.

High temperatures will not push past near-freezing temperatures throughout Saturday. In addition, breezy winds will factor in wind chill Saturday morning. Temperatures could feel like the single digits for inland regions.

The cold will last through Christmas weekend, with no major warm-up expected Monday or Tuesday either.

Continue to take preparations to protect your plants, pets, people, and pipes before the cold air moves in.