West Monroe -- The coldest temperatures in several years will arrive in the Ark-La-Miss early next week.
A cold front will make an eastward sweep across the south on Sunday. Some rain showers are possible along with the front. The arctic air mass that follows behind that front could drop Ark-La-Miss temperatures to near record lows on Monday and Tuesday morning.
Friday's latest forecasts call for temperatures quickly falling below freezing on Sunday evening to around the upper 10s on Monday morning. The north wind will be breezy on Monday, gusting above 15 miles per hour at times, causing wind chills below 25°F for the majority of the day.
A prolonged period of below freezing temperatures is expected in south Arkansas and north Louisiana. The air temperature may not rise much above freezing at all on Monday.
On Monday night, surface high pressure will move overhead. Clearing skies and calming winds will lead to even colder air temperatures. Some of the coldest locations will reach the middle and lower 10s by Tuesday morning. Wednesday morning will not be quite as cold, but will also see lows in the 20s.
Early January 2010 was the last time that temperatures dropped into the 10s in Monroe. Four years ago, the mercury fell to 18° at the Monroe Regional Airport. Since then, it has never been so cold.
The standing daily record low temperature on Monday January 6th is 21°F. On January 7th, it was 15°F. Both records were set back in the 1970s, and it is possible they will be broken come early next week.
Though we are well into winter and these sorts of preparations are usually taken care of near the beginning of the season, it is important to take proper precautions to protect your pets, tender plants, and pipes from the hard freeze that is forecast for Sunday night into Monday morning and Monday night into Tuesday morning.
If you have frequent problems with freezing or bursting pipes in your household or business, take the time before Sunday to wrap exposed sections of pipes with pipe insulation. You can also try leaving the water running overnight on the slowest drip, but this method is generally discouraged because it wastes water and could lead to a higher water bill.