Local News

January 5, 2014

Brace yourself for frigid weather

Icy and frigid.

That’s what you should expect the next couple of days as temperatures aren’t expected to rise above freezing until at least Wednesday.

“We’ve got a strong cold front coming through, an Arctic air mass,” said Ryan Willis, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. “It’s the coldest air mass we’ve seen in years in this area.”

And though you may have up to an inch of snow first thing this morning “the real story with this system is the temperatures,” Willis said.

The high today is only expected to reach about 24, he said. Tuesday at 7 a.m., the temperature is expected to be 5 degrees.

“So that’s a really dangerous aspect of it,” Willis said. “We will have some pretty howling winds along with those temperatures. We’re looking at wind chills of about 10 below zero in the valley, and in some of the higher elevations we’re looking at a wind chill of about 25 below zero. Bundle up and don’t be outside for too long because of the danger of frostbite and that sort of thing.”

There is a wind chill advisory in effect from 11 a.m. today until 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, highs are only expected to reach about 20 degrees.

“I think the cold snap is going to be a big shock for everyone,” said Spring Place resident Erin Johns. “If it gets as cold as they’re saying, it will be colder than many of us have seen in our lifetime, or at least since we were little.”

Johns said she always worries about the elderly when temperatures drop, and she hopes others help make sure they are warm enough.

“I don’t see us getting 6 inches of snow,” said Claude Craig, emergency management director for Whitfield County. “But we’ll get that rain (Sunday night) and the temperature will drop 20 degrees. It will flash freeze. All of a sudden it turns to ice. ... With temperatures not above freezing until Wednesday or Thursday, whatever is going to be out there frozen is going to stay there.”

Craig urges people to stay off the roads as much as possible.

“It’s going to be slick,” he said. “It’s going to be dangerous.”

He said limited crews were expected to brine some roads Sunday evening, but “it’s hard to do brining with rain coming because it washes off.”

Black ice is also a threat.

“Since we won’t go above freezing for 48 to 50 hours, it will stick around for a while,” Willis said. “Roads will remain slick for a couple of days.”

He added people need to take care of pets and make sure they have warm place to stay.

Johns said she’ll only be letting her dog outside when necessary.

“I urge everyone with pets to keep them inside over the next few days to keep them warm and healthy,” she said. She said she’ll also be keeping her faucets dripping to help prevent her pipes from freezing.

Wednesday the temperature is supposed to reach the 40s again.

“It’s relatively short lived,” Willis said.

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