Special Weather Statements from NWS

Key Points:

  • A frigid air mass arrives early today, accompanied by strong winds. The bitter cold will last all weekend, followed by gradual moderation next week.
  • It’s critical to protect your home’s plumbing from the extreme cold. Don’t let bursting pipes ruin your holiday weekend.
  • It will get cold enough that your car might be damaged if the antifreeze is poorly maintained. Check the antifreeze if you own an older car, your cooling system is leaky, or if you suspect the coolant can freeze this weekend, and make any necessary repairs. Don’t forget about ATV and boat engines with liquid cooling systems.
  • Don’t forget your pets and vulnerable livestock. Bring them indoors or ensure they have suitable shelter outdoors.
  • Check on elderly or disabled family, friends, and neighbors who may need help preparing for the cold.
  • Don’t forget to dress in layers if spending time outdoors this weekend.

…COLD WAVE INVADING THE REGION…A very cold arctic airmass is poised to move across the region today behind a passing, strong cold front. Saturday will be the coldest day of the outbreak, with well below normal cold air remaining in place through at least Monday. Very windy conditions will also develop and persist from this morning into tonight. An unusually high risk from wind chill impacts can be expected across the region, including frost bite and hypothermia, especially tonight as temperatures plummet. The cold weather will result in high demand for electricity across the region. Power outages may result from the heavy electrical load and also from the gusty winds. Those who require electricity for medical needs should consider backup heat or electrical sources. Take steps now to protect your property and health from the extreme cold. If you go outside, wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf. If driving, keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Check your antifreeze and windshield washer fluid levels. Be sure to carry a fully charged cell phone. If you are home, consider allowing indoor plumbing fixtures to drip to allow water to trickle through pipes and inhibit freezing. Use caution with space heaters in order to avoid fire or injury. If emergency generators will be used, they must be situated outdoors in well-ventilated areas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, remember to check in on family, friends, and elderly neighbors who might be susceptible to the cold. Do not forget about your pets and livestock. Make sure they have a source of water that will not freeze and a warm place to take shelter from the wind and cold. Do not attempt to walk on frozen ponds, lakes, or streams, as the ice will not be thick enough to support the weight, even of a child. A cold wave is defined as average daily temperatures 12 degrees or more below normal mid-January average daily temperatures for 48 hours or longer. Normal mid-January average daily temperatures are, for Asheville 37, Charlotte 41, and GSP 42. By definition it follows that a cold wave is when the average daily temperature for Asheville is 25, Charlotte is 29, and GSP is 30 or less.

…WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EST THIS EVENING… WHAT…West winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 to 50 mph. WHERE…Portions of northeast Georgia, the foothills and Piedmont of western North Carolina, and Upstate South Carolina. WHEN…Until 7 PM EST this evening. IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

…WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 1 PM EST SATURDAY… WHAT…Very cold wind chills expected. Wind chills as low as 10 below zero. WHERE…Much of northeast Georgia, Piedmont North Carolina, and Upstate South Carolina. WHEN…From 5 PM this afternoon to 1 PM EST Saturday. IMPACTS…The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Wind Chill Advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate low wind chills. This will result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. If you must venture outdoors, make sure you wear a hat and gloves.