Temperatures expected to drop

Published 3:32 pm Monday, January 6, 2014

Photo by Cain Madden

Photo by Cain Madden

Temperatures in the area are expected to reach the low teens for the next couple of nights, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Tim Gingrich.

The coldest projected temperature is 11 degrees on Monday night. It is expected to get as low as 13 degrees on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, the low is 23 degrees.

The high on Tuesday is expected to be 22 degrees, with wind chills that will make it feel anywhere from 0 to -5 degrees Fahrenheit, said Gingrich. There is a wind chill advisory from 3 a.m. to noon Tuesday.

“Even though it is going to be sunny, it will be a very cold day,” he said. “The wind chills during the first part of the day are going to make it feel much colder than it is.

“If you don’t have to go out, don’t,” he added. “If you do — dress very warmly with a hat, gloves, layers and a heavy coat.”

The high will rebound during Wednesday to the upper 30s and the forecast is mostly sunny.

Temperatures will gradually warm up Thursday, with the high in the upper 40s; by Friday the high will move into the mid 50s; and on Saturday, the high will be into the low 60s, said Gingrich.

Before winter storms and extreme cold, there are a few steps to take to prepare your automobile and home, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

To winterize your vehicle, make sure or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels — ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system — should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes — check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system — check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters — replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster — ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights — check for serviceability.
  • Oil — check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat — ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment — repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires — Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

To winterize your home:

Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Protect pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts). Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.