By Jennifer Correa

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Mother Nature is sending South Florida a gift this Christmas – chilly weather.

Usually, South Florida is warm on the big day, a big draw for tourists from the north in town to escape the cold weather.

But before the dip-in-degrees arrive, temperatures will be warming up on Thursday with afternoon highs in the low 80s.

Expect showers late in the day and on Christmas Eve a night a strong cold front arrives with a line of showers and isolated thunderstorms.

Then expect a chilly start to Christmas Day. Even though South Florida will be under clouds and lingering showers in the early morning, temperatures will quickly dip to the mid-50s Friday morning with a blustery north wind that will keep the mercury from rising.

Sunshine is expected to return by Friday afternoon but high temperatures on Christmas Day are expected to only reach the low-60s across South Florida, including the Keys.

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The coldest period will be from Friday night into Saturday morning when low temperatures and wind chills may be in the 30s and 40s. This will be the coldest air to sweep South Florida so far this season and the chilliest Christmas Day in Miami since 1999. The high temperature for Miami on Saturday afternoon is forecast around 65 degrees.

By Sunday, temperatures will warm up back to the 70s in the afternoon with mostly sunny skies.

Jennifer Correa