Cold temperatures are coming to Merced County this weekend and forecasters recommend residents take extra care to protect their pets and water pipes.
Overnight lows are forecast to dip near or below freezing on Friday and continue to go down to about 29 degrees through Sunday, according to meteorologist Carlos Molina of the National Weather Service in Hanford.
“It’ll be one of the coldest we’ve seen this winter,” he said on Wednesday.
Those forecast lows are several degrees colder than the average for this time of year, Molina said.
The National Weather Service issued a hard freeze watch for the weekend, signaling to residents to bring their pets inside or otherwise provide them shelter. Molina said homeowners should also be aware of the potential damage to plants and outdoor pipes from freezing lows.
“Pets and livestock might not be able to tolerate the temperatures,” he said.
Cloudier weather forecast in the early part of next week should bring warmer weather, Molina said. There is a chance of rain during the first weekend of the new year, he added.