Hard freeze warning in effect until Christmas Day

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee has issued a hard freeze warning for portions of Southeast Alabama, Big Bend, Panhandle Florida and South Central and Southwest Georgia.

Sub freezing temperatures as low as 17 degrees are possible from Friday evening, Dec. 21 to Sunday morning, Dec. 25.

According to the NWS, temperatures Saturday afternoon will struggle to get above freezing in many spots. If areas do manage to rise above freezing Saturday afternoon, it would only be for a few hours before falling below freezing after sunset Saturday evening. Another hard freeze is expected again Saturday night into Sunday morning. This prolonged period of sub-freezing temperatures may place additional stress on exposed pipes and present danger to unprotected people and pets. Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Area residents are reminded to dress warmly in layers and use caution when operating space heaters indoors. Ensure that pets and plants are protected from the elements and that water pipes are insulated.