Winter storm to be followed by bone-numbing cold

ColdThis week’s weather is shaping up to be frightful, with snow forecast to begin falling in Bonners Ferry at about three p.m. today and continuing nearly nonstop through about 11 p.m. Tuesday, bringing between three to five inches in town and as much as two feet to the mountains by the time a winter storm warning going into effect this afternoon expires at 10 a.m. Wednesday. And then the balmy temperatures we’ve enjoyed so far this winter … a toasty 38-degrees on tap tomorrow, give way to sub-zero chill as the work week closes.

But don’t send your thong to the dry cleaners just yet … tropical low- to mid-30s highs return by the middle of next week, just right for throwing out a blanket on Bare Ass Beach and enjoying a daquiri or mint julep. Provided you don’t mind a little snow in your cocktail.

Night time temperatures dip into the teens after a 35-degree high on Wednesday, with a low of 17 forecast going into Thursday and getting no higher. Before heading off the bed Thursday night, area residents are advised to bring in their brass monkeys and provide all witches with heavily padded brassieres’ as thermometers are expected to dip to 11 below overnight, and rise to but a single degree above zero under mostly sunny skies on Friday.

Look for mostly clear skies overnight Friday with a low of minus 13 degrees and a two degree high-low temperature span on Saturday — four for a high and two for a low, then warming back up to 20 on Sunday, January 14, and out of the overnight teens on Tuesday, January 16.

When temperatures dip below zero, care should be taken to prevent frozen pipes, especially if enclosed in an outside wall, allowing both hot and cold faucets to drip overnight and keeping cabinet doors open. If your water comes from a well make sure the incandescent bulb used for heat is good and turned on, if it’s out, do not replace it with an LED bulb.

If you heat with wood, be careful to avoid overheating your stove, and never use a gas oven to heat your home. If your source of home heat can’t keep up, close off rooms you don’t need and dress in layers of light weight.

If you have outdoor pets, consider bringing them in, especially overnight. If you can’t, make sure they have a dry place where they can shelter from the wind and have access to food and liquid water. Provide blankets or straw for bedding they can burrow down in.

Before the cold sets in, make sure to top off the oil, coolant and other fluids in your vehicle, if you can fill your gas tank to avoid condensation in your fuel. Make sure your battery is properly connected and your tires properly inflated.

Make sure you have jumper cables, and pack a blanket or two and extra warm clothing, food and water in case you should break down or get stuck.

Most importantly, be sure to pack your thongs, a well-stocked cooler and a picnic basket so you don’t miss a moment on Bare Ass Beach once the weather warms.