Florida, US -
An article of clothing Cape Coral may have forgotten existed over the scorching hot summer - the jacket - is making an early comeback this week as record-cold weather comes to town.

Forecasters predicted temperatures would hit a low of about 45 degrees Tuesday night. It has been colder before in Southwest Florida, but not in October.

The record low for Oct. 29 in the Fort Myers area is 47 degrees, according to Charlie Paxton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service - that was in 1910.

"That would be the coldest since (weather) records began in 1902," Paxton said.

The early taste of winter will push its way through Florida this week as a high pressure cold mass pushes winds south from the north/northwest, Paxton said.

Paxton expects the temperature to rise throughout the week, with lows and highs in the 60s and 80s by the weekend.

"It'll be a warming trend, but kind of a slow one," Paxton said.

In reaction to the sudden chill-down, the American Red Cross urges residents to be safe.

"Something we're concerned with with something like this is people turning their furnace on for the first time all year. We respond to more single-family house fires than anything," said Colin Downey, a spokesperson for the ARC of Lee County.

Downey said the sudden chill, as opposed to the gradual transition into winter months, is part of the concern.

"I don't think anyone a week ago was checking to see if their furnace was working," he said.

"We hope that everybody dresses warmly," he continued. "You still can get hypothermia in Southwest Florida, especially when you're close to the water. Exposure to the cold is serious business."

Downey added that pet owners should use common sense.

"Common sense is pretty much the rule," he said. "If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pets."

Some other cold weather tips offered by the American Red Cross include:

- Dressing in several lightweight layers keeps you warmer than a single heavy coat.

- Wear a hat that covers your ears; most of your body heat is lost through the head.

- Use flashlights in lieu of candles if the power goes out.

- Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves yearly, and use a fire screen with lit fires, burning only wood.

- Use generators correctly. Never operate generators indoors. Do not hook up a generator directly to a home's wiring. Follow safety guidelines when using a generator.

- In cold weather, open cabinets and let warm air circulate around water pipes. Drip cold water through pipes to prevent freezing.

- Make sure smoke alarms are working properly.

- Do not overload electrical outlets. Be careful not to place extension cords in walkways.

For plant owners, employees at Danny Yates Landscaping in Cape Coral do not expect the cold weather to be an issue.

"That would not really hurt any of the plants," said an employee of this week's expected low temperatures. "Except maybe orchids and that sort of thing."

The employee said 35 degrees and below is typically when plant owners should start taking plants indoors and protecting them from the weather.