Season’s first norther expected to arrive early on Thursday
Weather service urges people to protect pipes, plants and pets

Bruce Alsobrook | News-Telegram Editor

Nov. 27, 2006 - Need something to be thankful for? Be glad Thanksgiving was last Thursday and not this week, because it's going to get bitterly cold in a couple of days.

While warm temperatures have been the norm lately — witness Thanksgiving Day's high of 73 last Thursday — that's about to change with the abrupt arrival midweek of the first norther of the year.

(For those unfamiliar with the term, here's how a norther works: It's a calm 72 degrees when you walk into Brookshire's to buy groceries for the week. When you come back outside, the temp has dropped into the 40s, the wind is howling like a scared wolf, and something cold and wet is dripping off the roof.)

Blame a strong arctic cold front for the impending chill that will see those conditions move in overnight Wednesday, in all likelihood. 

According to a special weather statement issued today by the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, "While there are still some uncertainties in the exact timing of the frontal passage, it is clear that temperatures will plummet behind the front with strong north winds, abundant cloud cover and some precipitation."

After a projected 74 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday's high isn't expected to be more than 43, with sustained winds of 20 miles per hour and gusts of up to 30 mph. Some light rain mixed with sleet isn't out of the question, either.

That's not the worst of it, however; the overnight low heading into Friday is forecast at a finger-numbing 19 degrees, with a slight chance of sleet or rain.

No accumulation of ice on roads is expected, however.

The weather should clear up Friday, but daily highs through the weekend shouldn't get out of the low to mid 50s, and overnight lows are forecast below 30 degrees through the weekend.

"Preparations should be made now to protect susceptible pipes, 

plants or other vegetation sensitive to the cold," the weather service reminds in its special statement. "People with outdoor pets should make sure the animals have a warm place to stay."

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