A strong cold front pushed through Southeast Louisiana on Thursday. This front brings Arctic air all the way down to the Gulf Coast in the matter of a couple of hours. The cold weather will stick around for the entire holiday weekend.
A Hard Freeze Warning is in effect for the entire area through Sunday morning with another one expected to be issued later for Monday morning. Temperatures will drop into the teens by Saturday morning. Lows in the lower 20s are expected Sunday and Monday morning as well. These temperatures can cause pipes to freeze or burst and kill plants and other sensitive vegetation. Additionally, animals that are not given adequate shelter can suffer from frostbite, hypothermia, and even die.
When: Temperatures dropped rapidly from the 60s to the 30s Thursday evening. Friday afternoon highs did not make it past the freezing mark, so this means temperatures were at/below freezing for over 36 hours straight. Temperatures briefly warmed into the mid 30s during the day on Christmas Eve, but then we’ll dip right back down below freezing by the evening and into the teens and 20s overnight/Christmas morning. High temperatures will be in the 40s on Christmas Day. Christmas night/Monday will likely bring another freeze to our area. Between Thursday night and Monday morning, temperatures may be at/below freezing for a total of 60+ hours.
How to Prepare
- Secure outdoor decorations, trash cans, and any other loose objects.
- Winterize your home by wrapping exposed plumbing, detach hoses, and cover spigots.
- Allow your faucets to drip Thursday night through Monday morning – At the very least make sure they’re dripping through Saturday afternoon, but you’ll need to allow the faucets to drip again Saturday night through Christmas morning. You may need to turn them back on again Christmas night through Monday morning.
- Bring plants that are in portable containers inside, cover outside plants with a light sheet.
- Check on those without adequate heating sources.
- Bring your pets inside! If they must be left outside, make sure they have an enclosed, insulated shelter that is facing away from the wind. Place straw inside the shelter, which will keep them warm and dry. Blankets and towels can freeze. Provide fresh water and food and check on them often. If you see an animal in distress, call local authorities or animal control.
- Check on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are working.
- If you are using a space heater, make sure it is three to five feet away from any combustible items. Never use an extension cord or power strip for a space heater. Also, it should be on a flat, sturdy surface.
- There are more ways to prepare for cold weather.
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