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Arctic blast to hit southeast Georgia
Wind chills as low as 10 forecast early Thursday
Winter Weather Werm
A morning commuter walks across a snow-covered street Tuesday after several inches of snow fell overnight in Chicago. - photo by Associated Press

Snow expected from Midwest to Northeast, then bitter cold

CHICAGO — A winter weather system expected to dump more than a foot of snow in some places has begun its trek east, with a separate blast of arctic air right on its heels.

Here are some things to know about this latest round of weather and its expected impact:


A storm that buried parts of the upper Plains and Midwest in snow, including 6 inches overnight in parts of central Illinois, wasn't sparing states as it crawled across the Ohio Valley and Northeast, according to National Weather Service. Some locations will be hit hard, including by lake-effect snow, and could see accumulations up to 15 inches.

Washington, D.C., was hit by an unexpected 4 inches of snow early Tuesday after forecasts called for only an inch. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the morning commute was rougher than anticipated because of the weather, which also prompted numerous flight cancellations at Reagan National Airport, but that she expects the traffic to smooth out by the afternoon commute.

The system also brought snow to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other Eastern states on Tuesday.


Up next, the cold. A high-pressure system over Canada is expected to move toward the Plains on Wednesday and then slide east, bringing unusually frigid temperatures to the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., meteorologist Jamie Enderlen said.

Parts of Georgia could see low temperatures Wednesday in the teens, and northern Florida is expected to be at or below freezing. From the Dakotas across the Midwest and into the Ohio Valley, temperatures are likely to be below zero.

Come Thursday, New York City will "will be lucky if it hits 20" with lows near 10 degrees, according to Michael Musher with the Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center.

Officials in the coldest areas are urging residents to bundle up to guard against hypothermia and exercise caution while driving. In Detroit and across Illinois, warming centers have opened to provide temporary relief from the cold.


The Weather Service warns that snow-covered roads and reduced visibility will create poor travel conditions in many areas Tuesday. Even after most snowfall has ended, increasing winds Tuesday could result in drifting snow.

At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Monday night, airlines were reporting delays of 30 minutes for incoming and outbound flights and had canceled more than 230 flights, according to the city's Aviation Department. At Midway International Airport, about three dozen flights were delayed.

In South Dakota, road conditions "are going to be deteriorating very rapidly," said Mike Gillispie, a weather service meteorologist in Sioux Falls.

"If you don't have to be out and about, it's a good time to stay indoors," he said.


Temperatures are expected to be lower than normal for days but could rise a bit by the end of the week.

"We have cold temperatures, but it's not like it never happened before," said Bob Oravec, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center. "It's typical for an Arctic outbreak."

— The Associated Press

Area residents might want to stock up on firewood, wrap outside pipes and bring in the pets as frigid temperatures roll in with an arctic blast this week.

An "arctic air mass" moving into the state will bring temperatures and wind chill factors well below the freezing point, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.

He advised people to bring in pets and plants that may suffer from the freeze, as well as wrap pipes, possibly drip faucets and definitely keep others, including the elderly, in mind in case they need assistance with heat.

The National Weather Service predicts a low overnight Thursday of just 20, with a wind chill as low as 10, and the high reaching only 38. The low overnight Friday isn't much better, forecast at 22, though winds are expected to be light and variable, and the high Friday will climb to 48. Saturday maybe a bit warmer during the day, with a predicted high of 53, and the low will be chilly but milder than the previous days, at 37, according to the weather service.

It may be warmer Sunday, but there is a prediction of 30 percent chance of rain, the NWS reported.

Temperatures may be low, but windy conditions will make it feel downright icy, Wynn said.

"Forecasters are expecting frigid air to move into our area later in the week," he said. "The National Weather Service is speaking about winds gusts Thursday morning that could cause wind chills in parts of the state to plummet to single digits."

If it rains Sunday, it will be just rain, not snow or sleet, he said.

"This cold air mass is not expected to bring ice or snow with it," Wynn said. "You have a couple of days to prepare. Remember to take care of pets, plants, people and pipes."

He reminds people to be careful with heat sources.

City Streets and Parks Superintendent Robert Seamans wants to remind Statesboro residents and business owners to turn off irrigation systems with the freezing temperatures expected this week. Runoff can cause hazardous ice sheets to form on streets and sidewalks, he noted.

Mike Rieman, a spokesman for the "Ready Georgia" program with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, also warned people to prepare for the cold snap.

"Even without precipitation, cold weather can pose dangerous hazards," he said.

Tips from Ready Georgia include preparing an emergency kit with supplies for your home. The kit should include "at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a NOAA Weather Radio, adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm, as well as additional supplies for the unique needs of your family, such as medication," he said.

Rieman suggested placing weather stripping around doors and windows, allowing faucets to drip and opening cabinet doors to let heat reach uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

He suggested stocking up on enough wood or heating fuel to last throughout the frigid spell

"You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off," Rieman said.

Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters work well for heat, but Wynn reminds people to be careful in filling these and suggested using heaters with automatic shut-off switches and safety features.

Rieman said to "never use an oven to heat your home. Never bring portable generators, camp stoves and grills into your home; they should only be used outside. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your home's windows, doors and vents to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning."

Wynn suggested taking precautions a step further and making sure elderly or disabled neighbors and friends have adequate heat and supplies to last throughout the cold spell. While Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency doesn't anticipate any dangerous weather aside from low temperatures, he said county authorities will direct people in need of shelter or assistance to sources for help.

Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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