Hazardous winter weather is approaching the SWLA area, with a possible hard freeze the early part of next week. The National Weather Service seven-day outlook forecast includes scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout the night and isolated rainfall Friday, with increased cooler temperatures.

Saturday, the rain will slack up, but it will return Sunday and that's when the weather is expected to take a turn for the worse. NWS predicts freezing rain will blanket the area, bringing sleet and possible snow Monday and Tuesday. In addition, SWLA residents may wake to a hard freeze Tuesday morning. They're talking 20s or below.

Now is a good time to prepare, take care of errands, tarp or protect hurricane damaged property from further damage, gather groceries, supplies, batteries, and candles in case of power outages. Local authorities and emergency preparedness officials will not want anyone on the roadways during the potentially dangerous winter weather conditions.

That said, fire safety is of the upmost importance in weather like this. Ward 6 Fire Department is reminding all residents to use caution when utilizing electric heaters, newly refurbished wood burning/gas fireplaces, or any other heating devices. According to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, there have already been six deaths attributed to structure fires this month.

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