It's a winter blunder land outside in the Mid-Columbia Basin for the next week with below freezing temperatures, and wicked piles of snow covering our little shrub steppe.

snowstorm, Irina Igumnova

The cold weather with infrequent snowfall will be continuing for about a week, and the icy air will be becoming even nippier. If you have a fire place, now would be a great time to stock up on firewood for the coming days.

Temperatures are expected to stay within the teens and low twenties, until Sunday where things will creep up to a sad 37 degrees.

Don't forget to prep your pipes for negative temperatures by draining any outside faucets. For interior pipes, having a trickle coming from the faucet can keep it from freezing up. If your pipes are already frozen, try using a towel wet with hot water or a heating pad to thaw the metal.