Extremely cold temps in forecast

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The few snow flakes that fell in Pike County Monday weren’t enough to stick to the ground, but that may be a different story as the week goes on.

Local residents can expect extremely low temperatures this week as lows will hit the teens.

National Weather Service in Birmingham Meteorologist Matt Grantham said today will bring sunny weather with a high near 38.

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But, residents can expect a northwest wind between 5 and 15 mph.

Lows are expected to reach 15 degrees tonight, but no rain is projected.

Cold temperatures will continue into Wednesday with a high near 43 and northwest winds between 5 and 10 mph.

The low will be around 23.

A chance of snow will bring in Thursday with a high near 38 and a 50 percent chance of precipitation.

Grantham said snow is likely on Thursday night, but mainly before midnight with a low around 22.

There will be a 60 percent chance of precipitation.

Chilly temperatures will be around for the weekend, with a high near 29 Friday and a low around 11.

Grantham said these low temperatures are not record lows but will be approaching record numbers.

“It’s just a prolonged period of cold weather,” Grantham said. “It’s not records but the length of this outbreak is unusual.”

With the certainty of extreme weather, residents should remember to take precautions to protect their loved ones and pets.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, most hypothermia victims are elderly persons who are unable to keep sufficiently warm in the winter.

State Health Officer Donald Williamson said, “Remember to check on elderly neighbors and relatives at this time of dangerously low temperatures. The risk of hypothermia is increased if an elderly person is also suffering from a disorder that reduces the body’s heat production, impaired mental function or reduced mobility. Certain drugs such as tranquilizers may also contribute to the onset of hypothermia. Abnormally cold weather can also increase the threat of home fires due to improper use of alternate heating sources.”

“The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is working with other state agencies and local EMAs to closely monitor this dangerously cold winter weather,” said AEMA director Brock Long. “We are asking citizens to do their part and make sure their family, friends, pets and homes are secure from the extreme temperatures.”