NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - All preparations should be coming to a close and most should plan to stay off the roads through Tuesday afternoon as Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories cover most of the area. Overnight Sunday into Monday look for temperatures to be in the mid-30s south and lower 30s north.
Real issues begin early Monday morning before dawn as low pressure will ride along the coast pushing warm moist air inland. Very cold air at the surface will cause sleet and freezing rain to form from the northwest to the southeast across southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The current forecast keeps most ice accumulation in a line from Washington Parish through the River Parishes, but with frigid air pushing in behind the precipitation icy roads and bridges are possible throughout the region. Even light accumulations can affect trees and power lines so outages are possible especially farther to the north and west.
Monday afternoon into the evening temperatures at the surface will plummet below freezing by nightfall. Overnight lows south of Lake Pontchartrain will drop into the low 20s with teens north of the lake. Strong winds will make it feel even colder. A hard freeze is expected to all the way near the coast and all should take full freeze precautions to protect people, pets and plants as well as prevent burst pipes.
Some refreezing of ponding water on roadways is possible Tuesday into Wednesday before a longer period of warmer air on Wednesday afternoon. Chilly air sticks around through the week before we finally rebound next weekend.
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