State News

Bitter cold on way to Triangle

Posted January 12, 2009

— Cold fronts sweeping southward from the Arctic will bring some of the coldest weather of the season to North Carolina by the end of the week. Temperatures will begin their downward march Monday night, when the overnight low is forecast to be right at the freezing mark.

The National Weather Service said the chilly air will come from a pair of cold fronts coming into the state Tuesday and Thursday. The track of a low-pressure system moving along the first front will determine whether central North Carolina gets wet or sees sun Tuesday.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss predicted the greatest chance for showers would be to the south and east of the Triangle. A shift to the west would keep most of us wet and cooler than forecast, while a notably more eastward track could allow for more sun and temperatures climbing into the 50s, he explained.

Wednesday and Thursday continue the cooling trend, and Friday should be positively frigid. "We may not even reach the freezing mark Friday," Moss said.

Temperatures will remain colder than normal from early Friday through the weekend and into the first part of next week, Moss said.

While Triangle residents will need to be cautious because of the cold, snow does not factor into the forecast. "Precipitation does not look likely during that period," Moss said.

Overnight lows Thursday and Friday are expected in the teens, with the wind chill pushinghow it will feel to below zero in some parts of western North Carolina, the National Weather Service predicted. 

The N.C. Insurance News Service offers these tips for dealing with a deep freeze.

  • Keep your house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperatures inside the walls where the pipes are located are substantially colder than the walls themselves.
  • Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.
  • Keep furniture and curtains away from heat vents and space heaters.
  • Never leave space heaters unattended.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets and cover or wrap exposed pipes.
  • Check the antifreeze levels in your car and the firmness of hoses.
  • Check the power levels and water in your car battery. If your car is not housed in a garage, it is crucial to have a heating system for your engine if there are extremely low temperatures for long periods.
  • Keep garage doors closed.
  • If you don't have a garage or carport, parking near a wall or building can protect your car from the cold to some degree.
  • Keep your gas tank filled. Doing so will keep condensation from getting in the tank. Condensation can contribute to fuel line freeze-up.
  • Keep pets, especially short-haired ones, inside if possible.
  • Make sure outdoor animals have shelter and enough fresh water.
  • Cover outdoor shrubs; bring hanging or potted plants into a garage or shed.

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  • John Q Public Jan 13, 2009

    Actually bs101fly, you didn't do the math.

    According to our official reporting station (RDU), we are just about average for this decade as far as snowfall is concerned.

    This decade's totals include...2000=28.1", 2001=0.3", 2002 13.1", 2003=5.1", 2004=15.0", 2005=0.9", 2006=0.0", 2007=1.6", 2008=0.9"...and if you add all those up and divide by 9 (since it has been 9 yrs), you get an average snowfall of 7.222222222". That is about right on the dot with our average snowfall (actually its above average for the decade since our normal average is 7").

    So my math was right. And you're wrong.

  • bs101fly Jan 12, 2009

    John Q.
    Do THE MATH, your #'s don't even BEGIN to make sense!
    Bottom line, another year in the cracklin' dry Triangle with no precipitation and once again JUST as SOON as the cold air comes to town!
    It won't last long, so we can all quit worrying about being too cold, we will live!
    Fishel won't survive the snow drought, but the rest of us will be just fine!

  • Here kitty kitty Jan 12, 2009

    I have been so busy here at work for the past week I didn't know until today I get Monday off! Not that I plan to celebrate but just enjoy a paid day off...too bad it can't snow on Friday and give us an extra long weekend. I WANT SNOW!!!!!

  • yukonjohn3 Jan 12, 2009

    We are at -8.5 and rising. I am on the way to town to do some running around and I am wearing a t-shirt, blue jeans, tennis shoes and a light jacket!! After almost 3 weeks down below -40 down to -50...this feels like summer!!!!

  • commonsensical Jan 12, 2009

    HAHAHAHAHA 'bitter cold'. I've been working in Wyoming for the past month. -17°F some mornings. A low of 14°F is WARM.

  • John Q Public Jan 12, 2009

    "This WILL, WILL, WILL be the 7th consecutive winter in Raleigh without a real snowfall."

    You're wrong. More like 5 years without a heavy snow.

    We had a 6 inch storm in 2004
    We had a 12 inch storm in 2002
    We had a 20.3 inch storm in 2000

    We are probably about average factoring in these heavy years with our years of snow droughts this decade.

  • John Q Public Jan 12, 2009

    Again this is very below average for Raleigh. And it is cold for NC. We're not in Illinois.

    And why is this sensationalism. Locals aren't used to this cold and may not take the necessary precautions. And where did they mention that it would snow?

    I'm excited for some cold. At least it'll feel like winter.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 12, 2009

    WRAL Weather doing it's typical sensationalism in reporting.

    Like the year that Greg said it would snow or he would go in the fountain. If I remember right, the water was pretty cold for Greg's swim.

  • Thinker Jan 12, 2009

    This isn't cold! I live in Illinois but read WRAL occasionally since I still have friends in NC and I am from there.

    The fronts that are bringing you cold in the 20's and 30's are bringing me cold with a high of -11 on Thursday! I would like to visit NC and go sunbathing this week.

  • colliedave Jan 12, 2009

    And isn't 65 the maximum the global warming nuts want us to keep our houses or else the poles will start to melt?