If your weekend plans include being outside — whether at the Bell Helicopter Alliance Air Show or UIL band contests — bundle up.
A cold front moved in early Friday, dropping temperatures from 86 degree on Thursday to 46 on Friday.
And it’s going to be even colder Saturday morning, with a freeze warning in effect across parts of North Texas, including Parker, Wise and Hood counties. Even though Tarrant County isn’t included in the warning, some areas could flirt with freezing temps.
“It’s highly dependent on where you live in Tarrant County,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Stalley. “If you live in the middle of the city, it will probably be 35 or 36 degrees in the morning. But if you live in a low-lying or outlying area, you could be closer to freezing or even a degree below freezing.”
You might also want to give your plants an extra layer of protection.
The phone has been ringing constantly at Archie’s Gardenland in west Fort Worth, where horticulturist Steve McCoy said he’s been answering a steady stream of weather-related questions.
“A lot of people are asking and you definitely want to take some measures,” McCoy said.
His advice includes bringing tropical plants indoors and covering tender vegetation. While hardy landscape plants like holly and boxwood will be fine, vegetable plants — including tomatoes and peppers — will suffer. And so will herbs like basil.
“I have seen basil wilt down even at 40 degrees,” McCoy said. “Mint should be fine and so should rosemary and lavender.”
Plants such as Esperanza are ones that McCoy classifies as “tender perennials” that overwinter in Texas but are vulnerable to frosts and freezes.
Protect these plants with a blanket or an old sheet. Garden stores also sell blanket material to cover plants.
The good news is the cold weather should be short-lived.
Temperatures will reach 60 Saturday afternoon and the mid-70s on Sunday afternoon.
But be warned: Another cold front could bring a risk of thunderstorms on Halloween.
“That’s something we’ll need to keep an eye on,” Stalley said.