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After several days in the 80s and a warm December overall, the new year starts with an arctic cold front bringing overnight lows in the upper 20s on Jan. 1 into Jan. 2, according to the National Weather Service.

Highs on New Year’s Day will reach the mid-70s to 80 degrees before the front blows into the Highland Lakes, dropping temperatures to below freezing with windchills in the upper teens in some places. Wind gusts could be up to 30 mph.

On Sunday, Jan. 2, highs should be in the low 50s with winds at 15-20 mph and gusts up to 30 mph.

Expect another hard freeze Sunday night into Monday morning with lows in the mid-20s but weaker winds.

Highs should be in the upper 50s on Monday and upper 60s by Tuesday.

DON’T FORGET

During the cold snap, take care of the four Ps: people, pets, plants, and pipes.

Check on older adults to make sure they have heat or enough blankets to keep warm. Give pets a warm space outside or bring them inside. Cover vulnerable plants or bring them indoors as well.

Cover outdoor spigots, wrap exposed areas, and open cabinets inside your home to allow warm air to circulate around pipes to keep them from freezing and bursting. Consider letting indoor faucets drip during the coldest overnight temperatures.

For more tips, visit the Ready.gov Winter Weather webpage.

editor@thepicayune.com