How to prepare: Hard freeze watch Wednesday night for Baton Rouge; freeze watch for New Orleans _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Rick Griffing, course superintendent at BREC's Dumas Memorial Golf Course in Baker, keeps warm early Tuesday morning, wearing gloves, two sweatshirts and a full face mask to ward off the wind, as he trims the green on 4th hole, alongside Lavey Lane. Neither golfers nor greenskeepers are on the greens, while they still have an early morning frost like Tuesday's, Griffing said. They wait until the temperature is about 35 degrees Fahrenheit, so that the cutting doesn't cause the grass to turn brown, or crush the leaf blades.

It’s a cold morning across south Louisiana as temperatures dropped into the lower 20s Wednesday night in the Capital City, the Crescent City and Acadiana.

Baton Rouge reached a low of 20 degrees with a wind chill factor of 13 degrees. That tied the record set in 2014.

New Orleans also dropped to 20 with a wind chill of 10. That tied the record set in 2014.

Lafayette hit 23 degrees with a wind chill of 11. The record low for this date was 21 degrees, set in 1996.

Cold is forecast to linger in the area over the next few days with highs climbing only into the 40s and then plunging again at night. On Friday morning, the National Weather Service has predicted a chance of rain, freezing rain and sleet before 9 a.m. in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Residents should take the usual cold weather precautions. Cover or bring indoors sensitives plants and make sure animals are kept snug and warm.