By Shereen Siewert

A freeze warning is in effect for Marathon County for Friday morning, as temperatures will plummet into the upper 20s.

The National Weather Service issued the freeze warning effective from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday, which could kill crops and sensitive vegetation. Gardeners should take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold.

The drop in temperature could damage unprotected outdoor plumbing, weather officials say. To prevent outdoor water pipe damage, pipes should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. In-ground sprinkler systems should also be drained.

Temperatures should reach about 40 degrees by midday on Friday.

A freeze watch is also in effect for Wausau from midnight Saturday morning until 9 a.m.

After a chilly weekend, the weather should warm once again next week.