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Even colder: Hard freeze warning for Tucson on Thurs night

Bundle up! Thursday night will be even colder than Wednesday across the Tucson area — including Green Valley, Vail, Marana and the Tohono O'odham Nation. Widespread sub-freezing temperatures are expected, the National Weather Service said.

Thermometers could read as low as 27 degrees near Tucson, with washes and other low-lying areas even a bit colder, officials said.

NWS issued a hard freeze warning for Thursday night into Friday morning, for an area stretching from Green Valley and Vail, up through Tucson and Marana, including Oro Valley and Avra Valley. A freeze warning covering the Tohono O'odham Nation and western Pima County, and south-central Pinal County, will also be in effect, with temperatures potentially falling to 29 degrees.

Conditions will be "dry and colder to end the week with morning lows well below freezing for much of Southeast Arizona," forecasters said. "High pressure will bring a gradual warming trend over the weekend."

"Temperatures are currently 14-18 degrees below normal under sunny skies," NWS officials said Thursday. "Expect widespread hard freeze conditions from Tucson eastward and freezing conditions for central and western Pima County. Friday, expect breezy easterly winds for most of southeast Arizona with speeds 15-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph starting mid-morning through the afternoon.

"There may be some patchy blowing dust and hazy conditions thanks to the wind. Temperatures will warm some but still be about 6-10 degrees below normal. Lows Friday night will still be around freezing for the Tucson metro," NWS said.

"Frost and freeze conditions will kill sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing," NWS said.

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"Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold," NWS said. "To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above- ground pipes to protect them from freezing."

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