Rowan weather: Cold wave producing serious conditions

Published 7:42 am Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The temperature has been dropping steadily since 5:30 a.m., when we were at 9 degrees. Now, at the Rowan County airport, the current temperature is 5 degrees.

At that temperature, people can easily suffer from frostbite; those with heart or respiratory issues will have difficulty breathing and pipes can easily freeze.

The sun will help warm us up to 31 for a high, but with north northeast wind around 6 mph.

We’re in for another frigid night, with a low of 13.

Wednesday will be the warm day for the week, with a high of 36, but mostly cloudy skies and a light north wind.

Wednesday night will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 18 and northwest wind around 5 mph after midnight.

Thursday will be sunny and 32, but northwest wind will pick up to 5-11 mph, making it feel colder.

The low Thursday will be another frigid 11 degrees, with a good chance of single digits in outlying areas.

Friday is no relief, either, with a high of just 30, with sunny skies. The low will be 11 again.

Saturday will be not much different, with a high of 31 and more sun. The low will be 13.

Sunday will bring a little warmth back with mostly sunny skies and a high of 37. The low will be cold, but a more moderate 26.

Monday, there’s a chance of rain or snow, about 40 percent. It will be mostly cloudy and 46.

The National weaather Service offers the following advice for dealing with the cold.

The cold weather will likely result in high demand for electricity across the region. Power outages may result from the heavy electrical load. Those who require electricity for heating or medical equipment should consider having backup heat or electrical sources available.

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.

It is imperative that parents make sure children returning to school this week are prepared for the prolonged cold, especially if they will be outside waiting at bus stops in the mornings.

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.

While at home, consider allowing indoor plumbing fixtures to drip to permit 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.

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.