Here comes the inevitable post-holiday, deep freeze to Northern Colorado. We had such awesome weather so far into the fall this year that you knew these days were bound to happen eventually. I mean, everyone loves some snow and cold around Christmas, but January? No. Now it's just annoying.

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The forecast for this weekend calls for high temps only in the teens on Saturday, then down to around 10 degrees below zero Saturday night with the potential for snow showers. The good news there - as you know - is that when it's that cold, that snow usually ends up more of a fine, powdery dusting than any significant accumulation.

Then Sunday, highs won't get much better than 4 or 5 degrees, as we plunge to around 15 degrees below zero Sunday night. Monday is pretty much the same before we begin to warm up a little bit on Tuesday and for the rest of the week.

This will be the first extended "hard freeze" for Northern Colorado this winter. Here are six things to know.

1. A "hard freeze" occurs anytime we drop below 28 degrees for a few hours or more. This one is particularly rough in that it will be well below zero for a lot of the next handful of days.

2. Pets should not be left outside for any extended period during this kind of weather. It's dangerous for any living thing to be left in the cold that long, and pay particular attention to your furry friend's paws when they go out to take care of business. Snow can pack in between their pads and cause injury if they're out too long.

3. Pipes with any water in them can freeze during these extended low temps. Water companies recommend leaving cabinet doors open to expose any pipes on exterior walls under your sink to the heating inside your home, helping to keep them thawed.

4. If you have any exterior water spigots, if you're unable to turn off the water to them, make sure any hoses are disconnected to avoid cracking valves due to frozen hoses. You should also leave a few faucets dripping throughout the house to keep water moving through your pipes.

5. Make sure your heat is set to a reasonable temperature, especially if you're not home. Some people think they don't need to keep their heat on if they're not home (who are these people?), but unless you want to come home to frozen or broken pipes, set your thermostat to at least 65 degrees.

6. Load up on groceries and binge some Netflix! Nobody wants to be out in weather conditions like this. As long as you don't need to go out, plan to stay home indoors and take advantage of some downtime.

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