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Colder Temps Require Greater Protections for Plants, Pets and Pipes

Ryan Loyd
Texas Public Radio

With the unusually cold weekend coming National Weather Service Meteorologist Bob Fogarty says of major concern -- after tropical plants and house pets -- are water pipes.


“The pipe issue is going to be more of a concern now because we're going to have a long period where we're below freezing,” Fogarty says. “With pets and plants--we're more concerned with them even if it just gets to freezing...but it takes a while for water to freeze.”


He went on to say, “Even by, like 10 o'clock tonight, it's going to be below freezing. So it's going to stay below freezing for maybe 12 or 15 hours.”


Insulating exposed exterior pipes should be done before the temperatures shoot into the 20s tonight.  


Fogarty talks about how cold, and how long it will stick around.


“Tomorrow [Saturday], as it gets really cold, I think most of our area will see temperatures in the lower to mid 20s. And then in the Hill Country we're going to see some teens. Probably 17-18 in some places, maybe a little colder,” Fogarty says.


It's not unusual for those kind of temperatures in the Hill Country, but it's fairly uncommon in the city.


“San Antonio area we're thinking the low--probably below 25. Might be 23 or 22 even down in the city itself,” he says. “Our normal low is about 40. The record for today was 20. So we're probably not going to get a record. But we're close.”


The small amount of precipitation the front possessed has already passed, and seasonal temperatures will return by Monday.



Animal Care Services is also urging pet owners to take steps they might not otherwise have to. Officials say you should bring your pets inside or provide them an insulated pet house.


City law mandates a pet shelter must have walls, a roof and an elevated floor. Residents can report pet concerns or suspected ordinance violations to 3-1-1.



Officials also want to remind pet owners that short-haired dogs are particularly vulnerable to the cold.  Also, given that pets use the calories in their food to maintain warmth, feed outside pets a little more food.


And finally, since some cats seek the warmth of a car engine, if you bang on your hood before starting your engine, it should scare them away.