According to the National Weather Service in Birmingham, today’s high is expected to be 54 and tonight’s low could dip as far as 30.
"This is definitely the coldest the area has seen that is this widespread this fall," said Mark Linhares, meteorologist for the NWS.
As of Thursday afternoon, the NWS had a frost advisory in effect for the county, meaning that sensitive outdoor plants could be killed if left unprotected.
Linhares said a cold front was moving across the state and could keep temperatures in the Anniston area between 30 degrees and 32 degrees for about six hours Friday night.
"And the lower lying rural areas could see temperatures lower than that, maybe in the upper 20s," Linhares said.
David West, extension coordinator for the Calhoun County Extension Office, said residents should protect their outdoor plants.
"It's a good time to put out mulch," West said. "Pine straw is cheap and plentiful in Alabama — putting that around tender plants is a good idea."
West said covering the plants in cloth is also a good precaution, even for winter garden plants that are recently planted.
West noted that woody ornamental plants like azaleas should be fine during the Friday cold snap.
"We've had a nice, gradual cool-down, so woody ornamentals shouldn't have a problem," he said.
Linhares said that while temperatures will be cold Friday, they aren't out of the ordinary for this time of year.
"Typically, the average first freeze period starts around the middle of October for northern Alabama, so we're pretty close to that now," Linhares said.
The cold weather will not be in the area for long, though. The NWS predicts temperatures to start rising again Saturday, reaching highs in the low 70s by Monday.
"That's just typical Alabama, we'll get cold but it doesn't last very long," Linhares said.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.