State News

Bitter cold on way to Triangle

Posted January 12, 2009 7:36 a.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2009 4:59 p.m. EST

— 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.