An “arctic blast” is expected to deliver below-freezing temperatures–with “dangerous” wind chills in the single digits–overnight Monday (Jan. 1) and into early Tuesday, prompting a hard freeze warning and wind chill advisory across the New Orleans area, according to a Monday evening update from the National Weather Service.
The hard freeze warning and wind chill advisory extends across southeastern Louisiana and throughout southern Mississippi, according to the weather service.
Most of the area will see five to six nights of below-freezing temperatures, with the coldest temperatures forecast for overnight Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said. Wind chills in the single digits are expected both of those nights.
As for snow, forecasters say there’s a low chance of flurries south of Lake Pontchartrain late Tuesday.
The forecast for Monday night calls for lows in the lower 20s with northeast winds clocking 15 to 20 mph, creating a wind chill of 9 to 19 degrees.
Tuesday is expected to be sunny with highs in the upper 30s and northeast winds at 5 to 15 mph. Lowest wind chill readings are forecast at 11 to 21 degrees in the morning.
Tuesday night, the temperatures will drop again, with lows in the mid 20s and a 20 percent chance of flurries late in the night, forecasters said.
Forecasters warned that the prolonged period of consecutive subfreezing nights would have a “cumulative effect” on exposed people, animals, vegetation and pipes, as in the effects of such cold conditions build up over time. For example, a home’s heater must work harder during the second night of low temperatures, National Weather Service forecaster Gavin Phillips explained.
Last week, New Orleans officials announced that the city’s freeze plan would be in effect beginning New Year’s Eve and continuing through Thursday morning, allowing homeless residents free overnight shelter during the below-freezing conditions. The Louisiana Public Service Commission also announced that utility companies will not be allowed to disconnect service to residential customers during the cold snap.
As the temperatures drop, here are some tips on protecting plants and pipes. For more tips on handling the cold weather, visit the city’s online guide. The National Weather Service New Orleans is also providing winter-weather updates and tips via the service’s Twitter account.
In other weather wonders, New Year’s night brings a full wolf supermoon to the skies, one of two supermoons to appear this month.