Cold snap is not a 'pipe-wrapping' freeze

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There are no changes in our way of thinking regarding Wednesday's area freeze based on what we are seeing Tuesday. The freeze warning remains in effect as issued Monday, with areas near and north of the I-10/12 corridor under the warning from 3 a.m. until 9 a.m.

Officially, all of southwestern Mississippi, the Florida Parishes and Ascension and Iberville parishes are included in the freeze warning, but only WAFB's more northern viewers are looking at an event of more than a few hours.

Mississippi counties can expect lows in the upper 20s by Wednesday morning, with freeze durations of four to possibly six hours in some places. Most of the Florida Parishes can expect freezing temperatures for less than four hours, except for those living right up along the state line. Neighborhoods along and just south of the interstate will likely see temps at or below 32 degrees for a couple of hours.

Bottom line:  This is not a "pipe-wrapping" freeze.

A birdbath, a shallow puddle and maybe the dog's outside water bowl might freeze over here and there, but pipes along the sides of homes are going to be fine. Those pipes will have more than enough heat stored in them to stave off this brief light freeze.

However, speaking of the dog bowl, make sure outdoor pets have places to get out of the cold and the wind. Northerly winds will remain in the 5-10 mph range overnight, occasionally sneaking into the teens. Early morning 'wind chill' readings will likely dip into the mid 20s for metro Baton Rouge and down into the low 20s for much of SW Mississippi.

By the way, we are occasionally asked:  "Does 'wind chill' apply to my pipes?" The answer is no.

While high winds can allow objects to cool faster - higher winds effectively pulling stored heat out of an object more quickly - the object can't get cooler than the air around it, no matter how fast the wind is blowing. 'Wind chill' is calculated for humans only and is an 'apparent' temperature - what it feels like. And yes, even pets and livestock experience a 'wind chill' effect, although their coats offer protection that effectively lowers the chilling rate of high winds as compared to humans.

As for Wednesday morning, once the sun breaks the horizon, the day's warm-up kicks in with temps quickly rising above freezing. Although Wednesday afternoon will stay cool-ish with highs only in the 50s for many of us, most WAFB communities will be back in the 40s by or before 10 a.m.

We likely see another round of light freezes for parts of the WAFB viewing area near sunrise on Thursday morning, but for now, at least, it looks like Thursday's wake up lows may not be quite as low as what we'll see on Wednesday morning. In addition, durations for Thursday morning's light freezes - where they do occur - will be shorter as well.

And after Thursday morning, "Old Man Winter" retreats to the north.

We'll have 60s for highs on Thursday afternoon, with 70s for Friday and the weekend. In fact, the Sunday outlook suggests many neighborhoods could be flirting with the 80s.

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