Trying to solve a specific Thermostat Issue

So, the background is the following:
I have Ecobee 4's (2 of them) and have 3 "comfort settings": Home, Away, and Night.
I used the built in schedule for setbacks at night, and just HE to switch to away mode and to resume the schedule when I return from away.

This part works flawlessly.

The issue is, where I live, we sometimes, but VERY rarely get really low temperatures that I would rather not do the setbacks while sleeping. In the past, when approaching the single digits (F, not C) outside, the setbacks are low enough that the system has trouble getting up to temp without severely long AUX times.

So, prior to HE, I would manually set the temp to a permanent hold until the cold snap was over. I determined that threshold to be ~ 10F, so when temps are expected to be below 16 in the next 24 hours, I would just manually set the permanent hold on the thermostat.

So far so good. Here's the glitch. Unexpectedly, I did not account for the mode manager which switches to "home" and "night" and also forces the thermostats to resume their schedule.

So, I am thinking of a rule to manage the rules and pause the Home/Away rules from firing.

I was hoping there might be a way to detect if there is a permanent hold on the thermostats. But, I am not seeing that in any of the conditionals.

I suppose I could try a rule based on outside temperature that sets a permanent hold and disables the home/away rules. The only problem with that is that the temps usually do not get that low until the house has already set back the temperatures and it's nice and cool in the house. By then, the condition has already occurred and the system would have to fight to get up to temps anyhow.

So, I am thinking out loud. I do not mind a manual over ride. In fact, I kinda want this to be a conscious decision. So, thoughts on best practices?

My two main thoughts are a special mode or a virtual switch that disables the two Home/Away rules. I am leaning towards a virtual switch as that would not disrupt any of the other things I have that are mode driven.

So, the rule would basically be when

Trigger: switch "REALLYEFFINCOLDOUTSIDE" (I'll come up with a better name later) is on, then set temperature = 72 and hold
No conditions needed

Then add the condition that the virtual switch is off on each of the rules that puts the thermostat in Home or Away which is really what is killing the permanent hold.

Anyone with any better ideas? Trying to utilize the KISS principle.

Your virtual switch idea seems like a good way to go. You could even have a semi-manual setup where a rule would turn the switch on in response to a weather forecast device and it would have to be manually turned off.

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I like that idea.

So, maybe a daily rule to check the 24 hour forecast for a low < 20 (with a notification if true)

The OpenWeatherMap driver would work well for this if you don't already have a source for forecast data.

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