Weather that threatened to be violent, but still packed a powerful, wet punch Monday in Bulloch County, will yield to drier, frigid conditions tonight and Tuesday.
Expect that to be the norm for the next few days.
Before the strong cold front pushed through the region today, the high reached 71 degrees shortly after noon. Downpours caused minor street flooding and knocked down some tree limbs in Bulloch County, but no major damage was reported.
The low this morning was forecast to drop all the way to the low 30s, and the high today is only expected to reach the mid- to upper 40s under sunny skies. The coldest temperature in the near term is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, with the low in the low 20s.
The National Weather Service Office in Charleston, South Carolina, issued a freeze warning for 3-9 a.m. Tuesday, then again for 9 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The office warned that freezing temperatures could kill sensitive vegetation and cause poorly insulated pipes to freeze and burst Tuesday night. Then a slow warming trend is expected through the rest of the week, with highs slowing rising to the mid-60s, and lows to the low 40s, by Friday.
The weather service says the local extremes are part of a large, complex weather system bringing Arctic air into much of the nation this week. On Monday, while the Deep South faced the threat of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, the Great Lakes region faced the prospect of snow measuring feet deep.
In advance of the frigid temperatures locally, Bulloch County Public Safety Director encouraged residents to remember the "4 P's": people, pets, pipes and plants.
Check on people, including the elderly or those who have a harder time keeping themselves warm, limit outdoor activities, make sure space heaters are properly tested and well-ventilated, and take extra care when driving in case overpasses and bridges freeze.
Pets should be kept indoors during extremely cold weather, they should not be left in cars, and dogs' coats should not be shaved all the way down during winter.
Pipes that are not insulated can freeze when the temperature drops into the 20s. Wrap what pipes you can reach, and let sensitive faucets run at a slow drip to allow water to move, which prevents freezing.
Plants should be covered with fabric on cold nights, and windbreaks can be formed around sensitive plants.