(KLFY) — An Arctic front will be moving through the area Thursday evening, rapidly dropping temperatures. We will be in the mid-60s tomorrow afternoon but could dip into the upper 20s by midnight, dropping some 40 degrees in a 5-6-hour window.

Northerly winds will be very strong immediately behind the front, sustained in the 20-30 mph range, and gusting as high as 30-40 mph.

Winds will stay strong overnight, giving us dangerously low wind chills. Wind chill values could be in the single digits Friday morning. Morning start will be in the upper teens to lower 20s.

We may not get above freezing Friday afternoon with highs in the 32-33 degree range. This will be important to watch as the amount of time below freezing becomes a factor. Hopefully, we can sneak above-freezing Friday afternoon, but it will be a close call. If we do not, this would mean most of Acadiana could stay below freezing for some 30-36 hours, not getting above freezing until Saturday afternoon.

This will be a freeze you’ll have to protect the plants, pets, and pipes! Freezing pipes start to become an issue at or below 27 degrees, and we’ll be there Friday, Saturday, and most likely Christmas morning.

Insulating pipes in garages, attics, or otherwise exposed to exterior elements is vital. Make sure to open cabinets in the home to circulate warm air to pipes. If you’re leaving town for Christmas, winterize your home before leaving. Set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees and shut the water off to protect your pipes while you’re gone!

Be careful with space heaters and when heating your home. Unfortunately, house fires always increase this time of year due to improper heating of homes. Place the space heater three feet away from anything combustible. Also, plug the heater directly into the wall. Do not use power strips as these can be overloaded by the amount of power these heaters require.