State News

Bundle up; 'Brutal cold' can be dangerous

Posted December 13, 2010 5:25 a.m. EST
Updated December 14, 2010 5:54 a.m. EST

— Tuesday in the Triangle will be "brutally cold," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

A wind chill advisory is in effect between the hours of 4 and 9 a.m. Tuesday, when it will feel like 0 degrees, Fishel said.

"The cold is the story," he repeated.

Tuesday will likely be the coldest day of the week.

When temperatures drop into the freezing range, it can be dangerous to anyone who spends an extended period outside. For the homeless, it can even be deadly.

The Durham Rescue Mission spent Monday night combing the city's homeless camps, hoping to bring people to shelter

A spokesperson for the charity said it provides daily food and shelter for about 120 people on the streets of Durham, but when temperatures plummet, they'll take in 200 as part of Operation Warm Shelter.

Other charities also help people survive the brutal winter months. Warmth for Wake helps people pay their heating bills and Meals on Wheels delivers food to seniors.

To prevent hypothermia and frostbite, anyone who plans to spend extended time outdoors this week should follow these tips: dress in layers; remove wet clothing; drink warm fluids; avoid alcohol; and seek medical attention immediately if needed.

Temperatures will remain in the 30s for much of the week, but the chance for snow, originally forecast for Thursday, is shrinking.

"There is the threat of sleet or freezing rain, then it will all turn over into rain," Fishel said

The National Weather Service says cold temperatures and heavy snow are expected to bring dangerous travel conditions and power outages to western North Carolina this week.

The forecast calls for snow accumulations ranging from 3 to 10 inches.

The weather service says roads will be slick, and travel is discouraged except in emergency situations. Travelers should carry a flashlight, food and water in their cars.

Power lines are likely to be damaged by the combination of snow, cold temperatures and gusty winds.