The strong cold front has moved through the area and arctic air is rushing into the Carolinas. Despite increasing sunshine, temperatures will slowly fall through the 40s and, for a few locations, into the 30s by sunset. With winds gusting to 30 mph, wind chills will remain in the 20s and 30s.
It only gets colder through the night. Temperatures will free fall into the teens by 7am Tuesday. Making matters worse are wind gusts that will exceed 30 mph, driving wind chill temperatures into single digits by daybreak. Based on all the forecast models I've seen, here's how low we go by sunrise Tuesday morning:
Temperatures: 13 to 16 (Florence Record 18 - 2010)
Wind Chills: -2 to 8
Temperatures: 18 to 21 (Myrtle Beach Record 21 - 2010)
Wind Chills: 2 to 12
Despite sunshine, some areas won't get out of the 20s for high temperatures Tuesday with wind chills in the teens!
It's not just the intensity of the cold, but the duration as well. Once we go below freezing Monday evening, we wont get above 32 again until mid to late morning Wednesday. That means we spend 34 - 38 hours below freezing, including another night in the teens Tuesday night. It's important to be prepared so here are some cold weather tips:
- Protect pipes by covering or letting water drip slowly through them during the cold snap. Pipes most vulnerable are those in crawl spaces, the attic or in outside walls. Remember to disconnect your garden hoses as well.
- Have proper ventilation for any indoor heat sources. Make sure they have "tip switches". They are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event it tips over.
- Check on each other and wear layers. Gloves and hats are a must. Frostbite can occur within 30 minutes with temperatures and wind chills this low.
- Pets and livestock need to have a warm place too. Obviously it's best to bring them in, but if you can't, make sure they have a shelter that is well insulated and draft-free. Nose, paws and tails are usually the first places to show signs of frostbite.
- Your car should be fine if it's properly maintained. For those with boats, protect your engine by draining the water out of the engine and the exhaust manifold. If you don't, the engine block could crack.
Thankfully, we'll be back in the 60s late in the week and weekend.