As the first significant cold front of the fall season is expected to reach Brownsville around 7 a.m. Monday, Brownsville Fire Chief Jarrett Sheldon is reminding residents to make sure their space heaters and heating systems are working properly.
Sheldon said residents should ensure that their space heaters and heating systems are in good working order. They should clean air ducts, change filters, and verify that all units are functioning correctly.
The cold front should make its way through Brownsville at around 7 a.m. dropping temperatures throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service in Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley.
Temperatures will drop into the 50s, but brisk northerly winds will make it feel even cooler, so get out those winter coats and gloves.
The fire chief said if you don't have central air and central heat units, select an appropriate heating unit for the size of your house. Electric heaters are preferable for indoor use to avoid carbon monoxide issues associated with gas or kerosene heaters.
Sheldon advised you to keep heaters at least 3 feet away from any objects. Plug heaters directly into wall outlets rather than using surge protectors, as extension cords and power strips can overheat and pose fire hazards.
Homeowners should ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Always have someone present when the heater is on, and have a fire escape plan in case of emergencies.
According to the NWS, there’s a potential for a line of thunderstorms along the leading edge of the front.
Following the front, there will be a 20-degree drop in temperatures within 2-4 hours.
Light rain and drizzle are expected Monday night through Tuesday night, making it feel raw and damp. Roads may be wet, and visibility could be reduced.
If you're planning to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night, be prepared for wind chill temperatures below 50 degrees (40 to 60% chance).
While a freeze isn't expected, the sudden cold after weeks of warmer weather could affect tender tropical vegetation. Consider moving them indoors as a precaution.
Dress in several layers of light-insulating clothing and wear a hat to stay warm. Dig out your cold-weather clothing in advance.
Have sweaters, coats, and hats ready for use on the school bus or during the early morning commute.