Snow, sleet expected in parts of Louisiana as winter weather moves in Friday

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NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 11: A man runs along a snow covered levee on December 11, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The last time it snowed in New Orleans was 2004, and the city has only experienced measurable amounts of snow 17 times since 1850. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE (WGNO) – Freezing temperatures are expected across the state starting Friday, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness wants everyone to be prepared – even if snow or sleet isn’t predicted in your area.

According to the National Weather Service, a cold front moving in Thursday evening will reinforce a Canadian air mass already in place. Temperatures will fall into the 20s Thursday night for parts of Louisiana, which could mean a snow and sleet mix north of I-20 and plain old rain in southern parts of the state, including the New Orleans area, WGNO Meteorologist Martha Spencer said.

Residents north of I-12 could experience a “wintry mix” late Friday night, Spencer said, but Mike Steele with the governor’s homeland security office notes that everyone should be prepared because conditions could change.

He said a few years ago in Georgia, the forecast called for ice and snow 25-30 miles north of Atlanta, but when the storms traveled father south, “people got trapped in schools, stores, in cars on highways, etc.”

“We try to avoid those types of awareness issues,” Steele said.  “This is us alerting people about freezing temps and encouraging them to monitoring the conditions regardless of where they live in the state.  It’s also happening on a weekend when people could be traveling through impacted areas.”

Precipitation should quickly taper off by Friday night into early Saturday morning. 

GOHSEP reminds everyone to bring your pets and plants inside and protect your pipes. You can find more information here.