Baby, it’s cold outside and it is going to get even colder with possible record, single digit temps in the local forecast. You should prepare now.Meanwhile, those at the Lamar school system are keeping a sharp eye on the forecast and a decision on opening schools Tuesday, the first scheduled class day after the Christmas break, has not yet been made.While Sunday will see a slight warm-up, arctic air will blow in overnight Sunday-Monday and the temperature will fall to 28 degrees at 6 a.m. Monday, according to http://www.intellicast.com. At present, there is a 30% chance of snow showers Monday morning but no significant snow/ice event is expected.What is expected is record cold with temperatures dropping to eight degrees overnight Monday. The mercury will not rise above the freezing mark all day Tuesday and the low Tuesday night is expected to be 19 degrees.The current forecast is for a period of some 60 consecutive hours of below freezing weather – many of those hours below 20 degrees. That is a potential, pending disaster for pipes, pets and plants and the time to prepare is now.Hardware stores are already reporting runs on merchandise such as flashlights, propane, kerosene, pipe covers, antifreeze, space heaters, filters etc. The usual runs on grocery stores for staple items have also begun.Pets and plants left outside could perish.So, take precautions now.UPDATE:Southern Rivers Energy is prepared for any eventuality, according to Erin Cook of the cooperative.”We’re always prepared for the possibility of severe weather but basically have to deal with it as it comes. We have a full crew ready to handle any issues but have a strong network of cooperatives nationwide who are always ready to assist if needed. Those calls are made once we see we what we’re up against. We just launched a new outage hotline that is designed to handle a much larger call volume so, if we do have outages next week, our members can call 1-866-244-4890 for easier, more efficient outage reporting,” Cook said.UPDATE 2:School superintendent Dr. Bill Truby reported Saturday afternoon that he and his staff are watching weather models closely.”We have time left to study it. It will be cold but the moisture factor is iffy. We don’t want kids waiting outside in the cold. Wind chill is a factor. We will probably make a decision Sunday afternoon. I am talking with other superintendents about strategies,” Truby said.More to follow.