Freeze Watch: Chilly start to November ahead

The forecast for this early this morning shows a 30% chance of showers, with less than 1/10th of an inch of precipitation expected before 7 a.m.  Skies will be cloudy, but the chance of rain during the Toccoa Halloween Parade is slim. Temperatures today are forecast to reach a high of 58 degrees, and after 3 p.m., the clouds are expected to start to clear as we head back into the clear skies and sunshine that Stephens County experienced for this past weekend’s Harvest Festival. 

However, those clear skies may bring some challenges, as the National Weather Forecast has issued a freeze watch for Stephens, Rabun, Habersham, Franklin and Hart counties, as well as many other northeast Georgia counties, from Midnight until 10 a.m. on Wednesday. 

Temperatures are expected to drop to the low 20s across the mountains, and dip to 27-32 degrees across the foothills and Piedmont. While the freeze effect does not go into effect until midnight tonight, cooling temperatures may impact trick-or-treating activities in the late evening. 

The National Weather Service warns that frost and freeze conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation, and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing. While the worst of the chilly temperatures will remain north of Stephens County, the following precautionary actions are still recommended for the local area:

Take steps to protect tender plants from the cold. 

To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes, they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. 

Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also cautions that very dry conditions may lead to increased fire danger on Wednesday afternoon. 

Although the freeze watch expires at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, the extended forecast shows lows dropping back down to 31 degrees Wednesday night before expected highs rise back up into the low 70s by this weekend, with lows staying in the upper 30s to mid 40s after tomorrow night.