State News

Deep cold settles in over central N.C.

Posted January 16, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Temperatures could dip into the single digits overnight Friday, as bitter cold settles over the state for part of the weekend.

"The cold has finally arrived. And it's going to stay cold. It's going to stay below freezing," WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Overnight's temperature plunge could cause the coldest temperature on record since Jan. 29, 2000 – when there was a 20-inch snowfall.

Keep yourself healthy and protect your pets, plumbing and home during cold weather.

Cloud cover inhibited the temperatures from falling below the 20s for most of the evening, but WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said as the skies clear early Saturday temperatures will plummet.

Earlier Friday, winds of up to 10 mph made it seem even colder – closer to zero degrees in some places across the Piedmont. In western North Carolina at 7 a.m., the thermometer read 1 above zero in Asheville, and the wind chill was -12, the National Weather Service said. Jefferson had a reading was of zero degrees, with a wind chill of -14.

Forecasters predicted that temperatures will stay below freezing until Saturday afternoon – perhaps more than 40 hours of sub-freezing conditions.

Saturday will see a high around 34 degrees, but temperatures will get above the freezing mark for only a couple hours.

On Sunday, it'll get warmer – all the way up into the mid-40s. Temperatures will continue to moderate at the beginning of next week.

"It depends on what you consider a warm-up," Gardner said. "We'll be a little bit warmer on Sunday, but our temperatures don't climb back up to near normal until the middle or maybe the later part of next week."

Sunday will also see spotty showers or flurries – but don't expect it to amount to much, Gardner cautioned.

Coping with the cold

Chatham County schools delayed opening by two hours Friday to keep students have from having to wait for the bus in the freezing temperatures

During times of cold temperatures, the homeless are at risk because prolonged exposure can caused hypothermia and frostbite.

Volunteers with the Durham Rescue Mission hit the streets Thursday afternoon, urging the homeless to come into the shelter as part of "Operation Warm Shelter." Twenty-homeless man stayed at the facility overnight and also got good warm clothing and food.

The Raleigh Rescue Mission usually houses 30 people at night. Officials said they expect at least 45 people to take shelter there. With space limited the shelter holds a lottery system in addition to the line which is first-come-first-serve.

Pets, too, are at risk from cold weather. Elderly and young pets and those with short hair are most vulnerable, but all breeds can be hurt by cold.

"Below freezing is typically when it becomes too cold for our pets," said Vanessa Budnick, humane educator for the Wake County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "But in a place like North Carolina, where those temperatures are less common, a pet can be less acclimated to those temperatures."

Puppy Protect your pets during cold weather

Inside the home, be sure to take steps to keep your pipes from freezing, including unhooking outside hoses and keeping a pencil-sized, steady stream of water flowing through the highest faucet in the house.

Protect your plumbing during cold weather Protect your plumbing during cold weather

Be careful with space heaters, which pose a fire danger: They cause a fifth of home-heating fires and account for 75 percent of deaths from those fires.

Space heaters create fire danger Space heaters create fire danger


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  • bs101fly Jan 16, 2009

    i'm going to shut off my frig for the weekend and just put everything in the yard.
    next to the chickens.
    and pigs.

  • bs101fly Jan 16, 2009

    limp weather!
    limp forecasting!

  • anne53ozzy Jan 16, 2009

    I work for a propane company. This is a major story her, Yank or not, because many of the older homes in this region are not energy efficient. Coupled with the sharp increase in energy prices, this puts a huge burden on some people to stay warm in their homes. Instead of beating your chest about who gets colder or who knows more about winters, perhaps you could spend some of the $ left from the vacation in the Bahamas to help those who are in need of the most basic things. And, if you are so proud of being a Yankee...Delata is ready when you are!!!!!

  • msudawg Jan 16, 2009

    "This is not deep cold! Good grief! Two days of pleasant winter weather and everyone is freaking out. I wish it wouldn't get above freezing from Dec - Feb with plenty of snow. North Carolina doesn't have a "winter"."

    I am a Yankee, but if you want a cold winter and lots of snow go somewhere that has it. The temperatures we are having right now are horrible for North Carolina. I just returned from the Bahamas and this is quite a shock. I hate the cold and wish it would go away and bring back our mild winter.

  • John Q Public Jan 16, 2009

    "It's supposed to be cold in the winter..... why is this news?"

    Because we are way below normal. To the tune of 15-20 degrees or more.

  • John Q Public Jan 16, 2009

    "This is not deep cold! Good grief! Two days of pleasant winter weather and everyone is freaking out. I wish it wouldn't get above freezing from Dec - Feb with plenty of snow. North Carolina doesn't have a "winter"."

    Actually we do. This is our winter. What else would you call it.

  • paddie Jan 16, 2009

    This is not deep cold! Good grief! Two days of pleasant winter weather and everyone is freaking out. I wish it wouldn't get above freezing from Dec - Feb with plenty of snow. North Carolina doesn't have a "winter".

  • twright530 Jan 16, 2009

    Where are the stories bout global warming...

  • grayboomerang Jan 16, 2009

    Moderatorsnightmare....I agree, I was out at the barn all day today..dressed appropriately and wasn't bothered by the was warm in the sun, considering the actual temperature (and yes, I am from NC)...took the dogs for a run as well. Was out in it from 11-3pm....not awful. I prefer this to 30s and high winds.

    Didn't ride the horses, as we felt like the air was too cold for them to do heavy work in/cold air in lungs.

  • lma1973 Jan 16, 2009

    When it gets cold enough to snow around here that usually means its very dry and sunny. Just the way it is.