Friday, February 3, 2023

Now is the time to prepare for this week’s cold snap

North Texas will enjoy one more day of mild temperatures before a bitter cold snap brings bone-chilling temperatures to the area Thursday through Christmas morning.

Wednesday will be nice, with lows in the mid-30s and highs in the low 50s, according to the National Weather Service forecast. But that all changes when a cold front passes through Denton County on Thursday morning. Temperatures will plummet and be accompanied by strong, gusty winds. The high temperature Thursday, in the mid-30s, will likely be observed in the morning before the cold front passes through.

Thursday’s low temperature will fall to around 10, with wind chill values falling below 0. The weather service has issued a Wind Chill Watch for Thursday morning through Friday morning for all of North Texas.

A hard freeze, a temperature below 10 degrees that can freeze exposed pipes, is possible into Friday morning. The high temperature Friday will only reach 25, and the low Friday is expected to be about 18 in Flower Mound. The forecast calls for a high of 34 and low of 21 on Saturday and a high of 44 on Christmas Day.

Keeping these cold temperatures in mind, remember to protect the 4 Ps: People, pets, pipes and plants. Check in on neighbors and family, bring pets indoors, protect outdoor pipes and let indoor faucets drip, and cover or bring inside sensitive plants.

The Upper Trinity Regional Water District is encouraging residents to winterize their sprinkler system, faucets and swimming pools before the bitter cold arrives to save money and water. The district provided the following tips:

An example of above ground back flow prevention assembly, courtesy of UTRWD.

Sprinkler systems should be turned off until next spring, because lawns and other plants are dormant and need very little additional water to make it through the winter. Turning the sprinkler controller to the OFF position ensures the sprinklers don’t water and create icy sidewalks.  o prevent damage to sprinkler systems this winter, drain the water from backflow prevention assembly and insulate any exposed pipes.

Protect outdoor faucets by disconnecting hoses and covering the faucet. Exposed pipes can be insulated with foam, towels or other materials. Be sure that swimming pool pumps continue to circulate water when temperatures drop below freezing. If temperatures are expected to be below freezing for several days or you lose power to the pool, drain water from the pool equipment or contact a pool maintenance company for assistance.

For indoor faucets on an exterior wall, open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes. In extreme cold, allow a slow drip of water, not a constant stream.

Learn how to turn off the water to the house if a pipe breaks. This can be done by turning the valve next to the water meter one-quarter or one-half turn. Open as many faucets to drain as much water as possible. Consider draining the pipes when leaving town if freezing temperatures are predicted.

For more information, including videos and other tips on winter weatherization, visit https://www.utrwd.com/saving-water/help-us-conserve/winter-weatherization.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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