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Cold air to produce temps below freezing next week

Published 4:28pm Friday, January 3, 2014

A cold front currently moving into Alabama is expected to bring single-digit temperatures to Chilton County and surrounding areas early next week.

“The last time we had temperatures this low, I believe, was back in 2003 in January,” said Meteorologist Aaron Gleason with the National Weather Service in Calera. “It has been awhile.”

Monday should be sunny with lows in the mid-20s and highs struggling to get around freezing, possibly a degree or two higher, Gleason said.

Northwest winds will produce low temperatures during the day Monday.

“It’s going to be a blustery, cold day,” Gleason said.

Although clear, Monday night is when the coldest air is expected to grace the area.

“Monday night is when they start getting particularly chilly, into the single digits and bottoming out around zero degrees between midnight and 6 a.m.,” Gleason said. “Monday night into Tuesday morning is going to be the coldest night so far. High temperatures Tuesday should not get above freezing.”

Tuesday’s wind chill should stay around 20 degrees in the afternoon, leading into a slightly warmer night than Monday night with temperatures in the upper teens.

On Jan. 6, 2013, observed high and low temperatures in Clanton were 48 and 29, respectively. On Jan. 7, the high was 50 and the low was 29.

Gleason said the normal maximum and minimum temperatures for this time of year are 54 and 32, respectively.

The next chance of rain for the area will start Saturday night and continue into Sunday.

Highs on Saturday will be around 50 with fairly light, 5-10 mph winds from the Southeast. Lows will reach about 37 degrees.

Along with a 50-percent chance of showers during the day Sunday, snow is a possibility in the evening.

Highs will be in the mid- to low-50s, and lows will be in the mid-20s.

Residents are advised to make sure their homes are well insulated and to keep some type of emergency heating equipment on hand that could keep at least one room warm if necessary.

“Keep in mind wood burning stoves and fireplaces [should be] cleaned out and ready to go beforehand,” Gleason said.

Residents should also keep an adequate supply of non-perishable food and water handy in case of a power outage.

To avoid frozen pipes that could burst, wrap insulation around exposed pipes outside and let a faucet drip to relieve water pressure that could build between a closed faucet and an ice blockage during freezing conditions.

When going outside, dress warmly and limit skin exposure in low temperatures and excessive winds.

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