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Freezing temps will follow rains

Rain this weekend will be chased off by the cold as the first freeze of fall hits Lincoln County Tuesday.

“The freeze is on track with the average first freezes of the season,” said meteorologist Anna Wolverton with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

It’s likely to start raining Sunday with a chance for one-half to three-quarters of an inch possible by Sunday night. The chance for rain Monday is up to 90 percent, she said. Thunderstorms are likely Monday afternoon, clearing up by Tuesday morning.

Then the cold will set in, pushing the rain out, she said. A dry freeze means less chance for ice and sleet.

Wolverton expects it to stay chilly for several days. She anticipates a low around 26 degrees Tuesday night and around 29 degrees Wednesday night.

It will be up above freezing Thursday night with a low around 37 degrees, she said.

Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey said residents should check to make sure pipes and plants are protected before Tuesday night.

He cautions those using fireplaces to use proper screens and avoid using extension cords with electric heaters.

“Use general good sense and be safe and stay warm,” he said.

Beth Adcock with the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League offers tips for pet owners who cannot keep dogs and cats inside during cold weather.

• Provide a doghouse with an opening away from the wind. Oversized doghouses are colder inside, so use one that isn’t too big for the dog.

• Elevate the doghouse off the cold ground.  A wooden pallet works well to sit the doghouse on.

• Place a door flap over the doghouse opening. 

• Insulate the doghouse by stuffing it with hay, pine straw or cedar shavings. Do not use blankets because they will get wet and cold.

• Provide plenty of food and water for your pets. Staying warm requires more calories, so pets need additional food. Water should always be available. Use a plastic bowl, instead of a metal bowl and check it often to make sure the water is not frozen.

• Bang on the hood of your car before starting in cold weather. Cats will sometimes take shelter on a car’s engine.

• Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes.

• Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.