Hard freeze tonight for both sides of the lake; take full precautions

New Orleans, La. - Frigid conditions take over across south Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana.  An arctic blast of air is settling across the United States prompting hard freeze warnings all the way to the Louisiana coast.

High temperatures on Monday will struggle to reach the 40 degree mark with overnight lows on the north shore bottoming out in the teens with low twenties across the River Parishes and south shore parishes all the way to southern Plaquemines parish.

Tuesday mornings low temperature at Armstrong International Airport will threaten the record low of 23 set in 1970.  Monday morning temperatures were already incredibly uncomfortable below the freezing mark with winds sustained at 20 to 30 miles per hour and higher gusts.  The temperatures and winds combined to bring wind chills into the teens across the area on Monday.

This is definitely the time to take full freeze precautions.  People are cautioned to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly or those who may need help with heaters, pilot lights and other cold weather hazards.  Pets need to be brought in and any tender vegetation should be brought indoors or covered.  Plant experts say only to use plastic coverings for your plants at night as the plastic can hold too much heat during the day.

This is the kind of freeze that will cause pipes to burst if not properly protected.  Any exposed pipes should be wrapped, opening cabinet doors to allow heat from the home to enter into areas under sinks and running a tiny stream of water from an indoor facet can help prevent water freezing in pipes.

You only need to run one faucet with a very small stream of water.  If too many people are running faucets at full blast, it can cause water pressure issues.  Fire officials caution safety with space heaters.  Make sure that the heaters are kept away from flammable items like curtains and bedding.

This is some of the coldest air to make its way south in decades.   After an almost two year stretch without officially hitting the freezing mark at Armstrong International Saturday mornings official low was 31.  The Monday morning low is also below freezing and the forecasted low is well below the freezing mark for the next two days.

In perspective, areas north are dealing with the brunt of the cold.  Parts of Minnesota are only expecting high temperatures to reach -16 degrees.