BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's the beginning of a new year and the beginning of the big chill in the Deep South with bitterly cold temperatures on the first few days of 2018.
MONDAY: VERY COLD - partly cloudy; high of 36°; "feels like" teens/lower 20°s
MONDAY NIGHT: HARD FREEZE WARNING; WIND CHILL ADVISORY - a low of 17°
TUESDAY: VERY COLD - sunny, NE winds - high of 38°; "wind chill" teens/20°
TUESDAY NIGHT: HARD FREEZE WARNING; WIND CHILL ADVISORY - a low of 20°
WEDNESDAY: COLD, sunny skies - a high of 43°
THURSDAY: COLD, partly cloudy - a high of 44°
FRIDAY: COLD, mostly sunny - a high of 46°
SATURDAY: COLD, partly cloudy - "warming trend" - a high of 52°
SUNDAY: Partly cloudy - isolated showers (20% coverage); a high of 64°
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The bitterly COLD air mass has arrived and will STAY IN PLACE throughout the week ahead - the first days of January will be much, MUCH colder than normal (both early morning AND afternoon temperatures). HARD FREEZE WARNINGS have already been issued for Monday night AND Tuesday night - additional nights of HARD FREEZE and FREEZE conditions are expected even beyond Wednesday; plus, WIND CHILL ADVISORIES stay in effect. The "feels like" temperature will d rop (once again) in to the single digits and teens … PLEASE take extra precautions in this extreme cold … remember: PLANTS, PIPES, PETS (if it's too cold for YOU, it's too cold for THEM) and PEOPLE (check on elderly neighbors; WATCH use of space heaters).
Coastal Waters: North winds, 25 - 35 knots; Seas, 4 - 7 feet; GALE WARNING in effect until noon; SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY from noon until Tuesday AM
Inland Lakes: North winds, 20 - 25 knots; Waves, 3 - 5 feet; SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY in effect until Tuesday AM
TIDES FOR JANUARY 2:
High Tide: 9:48 p.m. +1.1
Low Tide: 8:06 a.m. -0.8
RECORD HIGH/LOW for January 1 … 82° (1952); 19° (1984)
NORMAL HIGH/LOW FOR JANUARY 1 … 62°; 41°
SUNRISE: 7:02 a.m.
SUNSET: 5:15 p.m.
On the first Monday of 2018, a hard freeze warning remains in effect until noon. A wind chill advisory is also in effect until 10 a.m. We're looking at clearing skies later in the morning and by noon, temperatures should reach freezing, and a high of 36° for the day.
There will be hard freeze warnings and wind chill advisories again Monday night, with a low of 17° and a wind chill in single digits. It will be sunny and very cold on Tuesday, with a high of 38° and a wind chill in the teens and 20°s.
These are the coldest temperatures to plunge into south Louisiana in three years. A surge of Arctic air arrived in south Louisiana and southwest Mississippi on Sunday.
Temperatures slowly dropped through the day with a more substantial drop after sunset. The bitterly cold air is forecast to last through much of the week. Residents are advised to take these winter temperatures seriously and take proper precautions. Morning lows are forecast to be in the teens° or 20°s through Saturday.
A hard freeze warning is issued by the National Weather Service when forecast low temperatures will be 25° or colder or long enough to freeze water pipes. Hard freeze conditions are likely early Tuesday and early Wednesday, too. They could possibly extend into Thursday and Friday mornings as well.
A wind chill advisory is issued by the National Weather Service when forecast wind chills will be 13° or colder. A wind chill advisory is expected again late Monday into early Tuesday.
Widespread single digit wind chill values are expected early Tuesday. It will be very important to dress in layers and cover exposed skin early Tuesday. Limit time spent outdoors Tuesday morning.
Local residents need to keep the four "P"s in mind (pets, plants, pipes, and people). Be sure to bring in household pets, and provide heat, extra food, and unfrozen water for larger animals (livestock, etc...). Bring in potted or hanging basket plants. Cover any sensitive larger vegetation. Cover any exposed pipes or faucets. You can also drip indoor faucets to keep water flowing and hopefully preventing freezing water inside pipes. Also be sure to check on the elderly and children as they are more susceptible to cold-related illness.
Also, check on people without access to reliable heat. Be careful when using portable heating devices, and never use them while sleeping. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning.