An arctic front is in the process of sweeping through the area. As it passes, winds will increase and temperatures and wind chills will fall.
Temperatures will bottom out in the teens to around 20 by 7am Friday. Making matters worse are winds gusting to 25 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 Friday morning:
Temperatures: 15 to 18 (Florence Record 13 - 2003)
Wind Chills: 0 to 5
Temperatures: 18 to 21 (Myrtle Beach Record 16 - 2003)
Wind Chills: 0 to 10
Despite sunshine, some areas will struggle to get to 32 for high temperatures Friday with wind chills in the 10s and 20s!
It's not just the intensity of the cold, but the duration as well. Once we go below freezing Thursday night, we wont get above 32 again until mid to late morning Saturday. That means we spend 34 - 38 hours below freezing, including another night in the teens Friday night.
Whatever precautions you took against the cold a few weeks ago, you'll need to do it again. 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 50s this weekend. Don't get use to it though. More intense cold is headed our way Tuesday!