MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - There was a rare chill in the air for those who ventured outside on a frigid Saturday in South Florida, as the region was expected to drop to its coldest temperatures in over a decade.

7News cameras captured crowds all bundled up along Ocean Drive and 10th Street, Saturday night.

Tourists who spoke with 7News said the nippy breezes came as a bit of a surprise. For some, it feels closer to North Florida than South Florida.

“It’s too cold for Miami. We came from 20-degree weather hoping for warm temps, and it’s too cold,” said Lauren Campbell, who is visiting from St. Louis.

“It’s supposed to be like 60, but it feels way colder than that,” said Rachelle Evans, also visiting from St. Louis.

“I have on a hoodie, but I had to buy a blanket ’cause the wind was just too cold for us,” said Evans.

As of 10 p.m., the thermostat hovered just over 50 degrees in Miami Beach, but meteorologists said temperatures will come down to the high 30s near the coast and as low as the mid-30s inland during the overnight hours.

A freeze warning was issued for parts of Broward County.

With wind chills expected to drop into the 20s this weekend, those out in jackets, sweaters and scarves in parts of South Beach and on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale said it’s not the typical beach vacation they were hoping for.

“I’m from Nashville. It’s 32 degrees right now, and it’s 52 degrees here,” said visitor Cameron Daniels.

“It’s 22 degrees in St. Louis right now, so that’s super trash, but I mean, I thought I was going to get some warmer weather here, and it didn’t happen,” said Evans.

First responders said the blast of arctic air makes it imperative to make safety a top priority.

Officials with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said it’s important to remember the four p’s:

  • people
  • pets
  • plants
  • protection against fire

That means to layer up, and protect young people and those older in age.

“This is especially important with children and the elderly. They are the most susceptible and vulnerable to cold weather,” said MDFR spokesperson Erika Benitez.

As for those trying to stay warm indoors, there are a few things they need to keep in mind.

“Keep the portable heating units or any heating equipment at least three feet away from anything that can possibly burn. Avoid the use of extension cords with space heaters,” said Benitez.

The Miami-Dade Homeless Trust has activated their cold weather outreach, providing shelter for the most vulnerable.

“We’re out here bringing everyone that in any way, shape or form are willing to come in, and we’re placing them at the shelters they want to be placed at in our community,” said Ron Book with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.

As for the snowbirds who were hoping for some fun in the sun, they are finding other ways to make the best of their trip.

“We’re spending most of our time eating indoors instead of being able to sit out on the patios and the rooftops, so we’re eating indoors,” said Campbell. “We’re still eating good food, but we’re just not able to be outside as much as we wanted, ’cause it’s too cold.”

For more information about shelters in Miami-Dade County, call the Homeless Trust Helpline at 1-877-994-4357 or 305-375-2273.

Broward County officials on Friday declared a two-day cold weather emergency from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 10 a.m. on Sunday. Shelter information is as follows:

The Salvation Army
1445 West Broward Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

The South Homeless Assistance Center
2056 Scott Street
Hollywood, FL 33020

Broward Partnership Pompano Beach Center
1700 Blount Road
Pompano Beach, FL 33069

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