The coldest arctic outbreak in at least 4 years will continue for Acadiana over the next several days, with pipe-busting hard freezes over the next few nights.
After a morning start in the lower 20s, temperatures struggled to reach the freezing mark Monday afternoon, and with the promise of slightly colder temperatures through Tuesday morning, all preparations for the bitterly cold weather should be complete.
In addition to keeping yourself warm and the pets indoors, this means protecting the pipes is a must if they are exposed to the elements.
Pipe preparations should include wrapping exposed metal, and if not, cutting water to the home and draining the pipes by opening the faucets thereafter.
Cranking the heat in your home and opening the cabinet doors under your sinks will help to translate some warmth to the pipes, and opening the attic door, if your pipes are in the attic, will help to prevent some issues as well.
Dripping the water is ineffective unless there is a steady stream, but do this only if you are on a well-water system, as running the water at steady rate lowers the community water pressure and the ability to fight fires, which invariably occur locally with the use of space heaters.
As always consult a plumber for the specific protection you made need for your home.
As for space heaters, and other non-traditional methods of heating your home, please exercise extreme caution...KATC does not want you to become the next cold weather, home fire story.
Do NOT use the oven and/or stove top burners for heat!
When using space heaters, make sure they are "UL" listed, and are placed at least a 3 foot radius away from any objects or foot traffic.
Newer space heaters should have a "tip-over" safety switch, and all should be plugged directly into a wall outlet without the use of an extension cord.
Weather-wise, temperatures will likely drop into the upper teens to lower 20s across Acadiana through Tuesday morning, with wind chills continuing in the 8-15 degree range overnight through the morning.
Mostly sunny skies should finally help to get our temperatures above freezing after the noon hour Tuesday, but clouds returning late in the day won't help our pipe situation going into Tuesday night. Highs Tuesday should be briefly in the mid to upper 30s.
Another hard freeze will be likely Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, but making things a little more interesting will be a quick-moving upper disturbance, that will produce clouds and could generate a couple of snowflakes, mainly early Tuesday night.
There won't be enough moisture around for any kind of an accumulation, and the disturbance will be moving so fast, that the skies should clear shortly after midnight. Nonetheless, it would not be surprising if a few (very few) flakes might be observed locally after dark Tuesday evening, say between 8pm and midnight...we'll see.
Temperatures will once again drop into the upper teens to lower 20s across the area overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning, but plenty of sunshine Wednesday should allow for temperatures to reach the relatively balmy lower 40s during the afternoon.
Our cold weather will continue for the rest of the week with generally fair skies accompanied by lows in the low to mid-20s and highs reaching the mid-upper 40s.
It will warm back up this weekend an get above freezing at night with highs reaching the 50s Saturday and 60s Sunday into Monday.
A frontal system will likely yield a pretty good chance of rain late Sunday into Monday morning, with another chill down to arrive mid-next week...we may not be done with the 20s at night after this week...stay tuned, and stay warm!