BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The season’s first light freezes may be arriving Wednesday and Thursday of next week (November 14 and 15).
Our current forecast calls for a brief early morning freeze on Wednesday, November 14. By comparison, 2017’s first fall freeze at Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport did not occur until December 9. In fact, a freeze on Wednesday morning will be the earliest first fall freeze on the calendar for BTR since the 2014 season, when the first freeze occurrence that fall season also fell on November 14.
While mid-November freezes are far from rare for metro Baton Rouge, a look back through the recent history indicates freeze occurrences this early in the month happen only about once in five years, on average (less than 20 percent of all fall seasons back to 1970).
The WAFB Storm Team is posting First Alert Action Days for both days; neither of these freezes will be “pipe-wrappers” and freezing temperatures will be limited mainly to areas along and north of the east-west interstate corridor (I-10/12 from Lafayette through Baton Rouge to Hammond).
Even where temperatures do dip to freezing or below, the duration of those freezes will be just a few hours at most. However, this will be the first such event of the season and arrives a little earlier than average for the WAFB area, so we post the First Alert Action Day just to make sure residents take care of the extra-tender vegetation and pets.
The good news is though that both days will be sunny, with afternoon highs rebounding into the 50s to cut the morning chills.
The St. George Fire Department also has some tips for this first possible freeze. Eldon Ledoux, a spokesperson for the department, says he’s concerned about a few things, including the use of space heaters, fireplaces, and chimneys.
- SPACE HEATERS
- Do not put electric heaters less than three feet from anything that will burn easily, including tablecloths, bedding, or curtains. The most dangerous room in the house for a fire to begin is the bedroom. Think about turning space heaters off before going to sleep.
- FIREPLACES AND CHIMNEYS
- Treat a fireplace like a space heater. Don’t light it with combustible material within three feet of it and always use a fire grate and screen to prevent embers from rolling onto the carpet or wooden floor. When disposing of embers, be sure they are cold. Wet them down if possible. Don’t dump them into a plastic trash can against the wooden or vinyl back wall of the house.
- CARBON MONOXIDE
- Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that can be introduced into the living area of a home by a faulty central system. Have you had your heater professionally inspected in the past year or two? An inspection of your gas heater’s heat exchanger will locate the danger of heater exhaust gases blowing into your house’s circulating air. If you have an electric heater, don’t worry; carbon monoxide is a fossil fuel concern. Back to the fireplace, make sure your flue vent is wide open. Wood is the original fossil fuel.
- More fires start in the kitchen than any other room of the house. The main reason for that is people. They lose track of what they are doing and don’t pay attention to that fire or electric burner under their pot. If what’s in your pot will burn, it eventually will if you don’t remove the heat. Stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. While you are cooking, avoid distraction and keep your mind on what you are doing.