Take steps to protect your tenderest garden plants: colder weather is moving in this weekend.
A freeze warning will take effect in the early hours of Saturday morning, from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures as low as the upper 20s are possible across northern and east-central Iowa.
Counties included in the freeze watch include Emmet, Cerro Gordo, Kossuth, Winnebago, Worth, Palo Alto, Hancock, Butler, Bremer, Hamilton, Hardin, Grundy, Black Hawk, Story, Marshall, Tama and Poweshiek.
In Mason City, Friday's low is anticipated to be around 31.
Frost and freezing conditions could damage or kill crops and other vegetation; they also run the risk of potentially damaging unprotected outdoor plumbing. Outdoor water pipes should be wrapped, drained or allowed to drip slowly; in-ground sprinkler systems should be drained.
After the freeze warning is over, in a fairly stark contrast, Saturday's high is anticipated to be about 63, though at present, lows for Sunday and Monday are still slated to be in the lower 30s.
It's advisable to take steps sooner than later to protect your prized outdoor plants and pipes.
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