Below freezing temps expected

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014

By Ngoc Vo

Brace yourself. Cold weather is coming to Pike County this week.

Below freezing temperatures are expected both Friday and Saturday mornings across Central Alabama, according to the National Weather Service.

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“This time of the year, the weather pattern changes quickly,” said meteorologist Jim Stefkovich. “This is not unusual … (The weather) will fluctuate with cold spells as we approach the winter.”

On Wednesday, there is a 20 percent chance of showers. The weather will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 72. The low for Wednesday night is around 48 degrees.

Thursday will be partly sunny, with a high near 60 degrees. Thursday night will be mostly clear, with a low around 34 degrees.

Friday is expected to be sunny, with a high near 53 degrees. Temperature drops Friday night with a low around 34 degrees.

It will be sunny Saturday sunny, with a high near 57 degrees. There is a 30 percent chance of showers Saturday night with a low around 43 degrees.

On Sunday, it is likely to shower with a high near 60 degrees. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. Stefkovich said temperatures are expected to be higher on Sunday and the beginning of next week.

Jeanna Barnes, Director of Pike County Emergency Management Agency said during this cold weather, people should dress warmly in layers and avoid prolonged exposure. The elderly as well as pets need to be checked on. Barnes also advised to turn sprinklers off, wrap exposed pipes and be cautious with open flame heat sources.

Shannon Jackson, marketing and communication manager for Southeast Alabama Gas District offered several suggestions for energy saving.“To reduce energy cost, for (heaters using) natural gas, propane or electricity, you can adjust the thermostat higher by a few degrees and leave it at that,” Jackson said.

For programmable thermostats, Jackson advised to set lower temperatures during the sleeping hours or during the time when there is no one at home. However, this period has to be more than eight hours; otherwise the heating system has to use more energy when the temperatures are raised.

Jackson also suggested closing the damper of unused fireplaces to keep warm air from escaping through the chimney. Opening near doors and windows should be blocked or sealed as well. Another way to make the living space warmer is to reverse the ceiling fans, according to Jackson. This will help the fans pull down the warm air that has risen up to the ceiling.