A blast of Arctic air is moving through Metro Atlanta, and it will send temperatures tumbling for the rest of today.
These conditions will be similar to what the Metro experienced earlier this week, however they will continue into this weekend.
The animation below illustrates the hour-by-hour temperature trend -- notice how air temperatures will drop into the 30s through the afternoon commute! It is possible that many locations in the Metro Atlanta area will experience below-freezing temperatures for 36 hours between Friday night and Sunday morning morning.
But wait -- there’s more! The winds will gust as high as 20 to 30 mph today, pulling in the frigid air.
Combined with the freezing cold temperatures, wind chill values will drop into the single digits as early as 9pm this evening, and they will fall to near zero by tomorrow morning.
The animation below illustrates the hour-by-hour wind chill values through Saturday morning.
Monitoring the 4-Ps: Pipes, Pets, Plants, and People
Frigid temperatures pose a great risk to the 4-Ps, and it’s best to mitigate cold-weather impacts as early as possible.
- Pipes: Let the faucets drip in both the hot and cold water taps as soon as possible, continuing into late Thursday morning. Running water takes longer to freeze over compared to still water, and you may prevent thousands of dollars in frozen pipe damage by allowing the faucet to drip. Also open the cabinet doors to allow warmer air to flow around the pipes. Make sure garden hoses are disconnected from your home as well.
- Pets: Even with a fur coat, animals are susceptible to cold temperatures. Do not leave pets outdoors when the temperatures drop below 32 degrees -- they can suffer from frostbite, or even succumb to hypothermia. Make sure adequate shelter is provided for outdoor pets and animals.
- Plants: Plants that are not cold hardy will need to be covered and protected.
- People: Anyone working outdoors will need to monitor for both frostbite and hypothermia. In addition, very young and very elderly people are more susceptible to extreme temperatures. Individuals with circulatory issues will also need to check for cold fingers, toes, ears, and nose, since these areas may freeze due to poor heat circulation within the body.
Prepare for Dangerously Low Wind Chills
Cold temperatures by themselves are tough enough, but with wind gusts as high as 20 to 30 mph, the “feels like” wind chill temperatures will be even lower -- near zero degrees late Friday night through Saturday morning!
Wind chill values this low are dangerous for anyone spending more than 15 minute outside, particularly if they are not prepared for the weather and lack warm clothing.
As a result, hypothermia can set in, causing body temperatures to drop to dangerous levels. “Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well,” states the CDC. “This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.”
When Do We Finally Thaw Out?!
This is the South! It’s supposed to be warm, even in the winter -- right?!
Be aware that Atlanta is not immune to super cold temperatures, though average temperatures in January include morning lows in the 30s and afternoon highs in the 50s.
If you’re looking for warmer weather, you can stay right here after the weekend!
Temperatures will thaw on Sunday afternoon, and the warm up continues Monday and Tuesday as temperatures climb into the mid-50s. By next Friday, temperatures will be in the upper 60s, however rain showers and a few thunderstorms will move into the Metro Atlanta area as the temperatures climb.
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