Attention North Carolina gardeners — a cold snap is coming

Gardening stock photo (Getty Images)

You didn’t really think winter would go that quietly, did you?

You might have donned shorts Saturday as temps reached the 60s and 70s across broad swaths of the country, from St. Louis to New York. Even parts of Alaska reached 70 degrees on Saturday — the earliest in the year any region of the state has hit that high.

But after an unseasonably warm Saturday, temperatures dropped sharply on Sunday.

More than 20 million people from Arkansas to North Carolina will be under a freeze warning come Monday morning.

Most people in the Northeast, mid-South and Midwest will see highs in the 40s and the 50s, running about 15 to 25 degrees below average.

That means a city like Pittsburgh, after reveling in a high of 67 Saturday, will fall back to earth with temperatures in the upper 30s on Sunday.

Freezing temperatures around wake-up time Monday will kill those plants eager gardeners may have eased into the ground Saturday. Green thumb or not, anyone under a freeze warning who doesn’t cover their plants Sunday night could be in a for a rude — or wilted — awakening Monday morning.

And unprotected outdoor plumbing could also take a hit.

But all is not lost. The cold temperatures won’t last long. By Wednesday, most areas of the South, as well as Northeast, will be back to seasonal normal..

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