With the sudden blast of arctic coolness making its way down to our neck of the woods, Broward and Palm Beach counties have declared a cold weather emergency for at least the next two days.
The National Weather Service has forecast low temperatures tonight through Thursday, including a wind chill dipping into the mid-40s. Meanwhile, Palm Beach County will also see temps hit 40, with a wind chill of 35 or below. A freeze watch remains in effect.
It's not New England Snowpocalypse type of winter by any stretch. But it's enough to have both counties open shelters for the homeless and remind pet owners to get their pets indoors until things warm up again.
The could weather emergency will begin at 6:30 p.m. today and last through 7 Thursday morning. It is expected to pick up again at 7 p.m. Thursday until 8 a.m. Friday.
This means the counties will be opening several homeless shelters during those times. Should the cold weather last into the weekend, the shelters will extend their access.
Temps are expected to warm up by Friday and into the weekend.
Those who need a homeless shelter in Broward are being asked to report to the pickup and shelter locations no later than 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday for transportation and access.
Pickup location only:
Pompano Beach Pompano Beach City Hall 100 W. Atlantic Blvd. (Southeast Corner)
Pickup and Shelter:
Fort Lauderdale The Salvation Army 1445 West Broward Blvd
Hollywood Broward Outreach Center 2056 Scott Street
Shelter only: North Homeless Assistance Center 1700 Blount Road
Central Homeless Assistance Center 920 NW 7th Avenue
Anyone with questions can call the Broward County info line at 2-1-1, or 954-537-0211.
Palm Beach County's cold weather emergency shelters will be open beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Westgate Community Center Gymnasium, located at 3691 Oswego Ave., West Palm Beach, and West County Senior Citizens Center, located at 2916 State Road 15, Belle Glade.
Meanwhile, the Animal Care and Adoption Division is reminding pet owners to bring and keep their pets inside during the cold snap.
"We recommend that all pets be brought inside to ensure their comfort. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater, since they can become easily chilled," says Dr. Tim Johnston, a veterinarian at Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division.