Last Modified: Saturday, January 04, 2014 2:08 PM
By Warren Arceneaux / American Press
A cold front due to arrive next week will bring the coldest weather the area has seen in several years, with temperatures expected to fall into the low 20s. Jonathan Brazzell, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said the temperature should begin to drop Sunday.
“We should get the coolest air we have seen in the area for the past couple of years,” Brazzell said. “We should begin to feel the cold air beginning Sunday through Monday morning, when the temperature should bottom out in the mid- to upper-20s. The high on Monday may not get into the 40s, the temperature will be in the 30s for most of the day. Tuesday morning we will see temperatures in the low- to mid-20s area-wide. That should be the peak of the cold air, then things will begin to warm up starting Wednesday. We will see strong winds Sunday with the front arriving, but that should die down before we get the real cold air. Monday morning wind chill will be around the mid- to upper-teens, then in the mid-teens Tuesday.”
Brazzell said no freezing rain or snow is expected.
Residents should start preparing for the freezing temperatures right now.
“If your house is not built on a slab and is elevated, now is a good time to start wrapping pipes up if they are exposed to the elements,” he said. “During the event, be mindful of your plants, pipes and pets. Be very conscious with space heaters and how you heat a home. We see a lot of fires caused by space heaters when it gets this cold. Avoid using stoves or ovens to heat your home if you have other options.”
The American Red Cross of Southwest Louisiana offers the following tips for dealing with the cold weather:
- Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
- Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get unfrozen water.
- Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
- Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- If you use a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable (including paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs) at least three feet away. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
- Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Have a working smoke/carbon monoxide detector.
For more information, visit redcross.org or call 526-5512.