Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Baby, it's cold outside! Temp plummets to -2 degrees west of Staunton

There it is ... minus 2 degrees this morning shortly before 7:00 a.m. I consider us fortunate because many locations throughout the nation were far colder than our corner of Augusta County.

The heated bird bath is frozen over with thirsty birds sitting around trying to figure out what to do for a sip of water. We will refill it but today's high temp is supposed to be around 15 which will still allow bird bath water to freeze.  High winds overnight caused wind chills to register far below zero with some areas feeling like -20.

The furnace is running but our biggest support is the wood stove that is working to crank out some cozy heat on this frigid morning. A pot of Brunswick stew will be bubbling on the stove throughout the day, and venturing out will involve warming up the car before hitting the street.

WHSV TV-3 had good weather advice: "You are encouraged to stay indoors, but if you have to travel, check your car battery, have a blanket and safety supplies with you as well as a fully charged cell phone and full tank of fuel. Open cabinet doors and allow water to run through your pipes. Have a safe heat source, as well as a reliable backup heat source. Check on your friends, neighbors and the elderly, and bring pets indoors."

There's no frost this morning west of Staunton ... it's just cold. The air is clear and the mountains are sharply outlined against the western sky. The sun is out and the sky is a deep blue. This is a short cold snap because the rest of the week will warm nicely, starting tomorrow.

Public schools in the SWAC area were on a two-hour delay while Grace Christian School was on a one-hour delay. A list of delays and closings is here.

Today's forecast from WHSV TV-3:  ***A Wind Chill Warning is in effect through 6:00 p.m. for the entire viewing area. The combination of very cold air and strong winds has the potential to create dangerously low wind chill values well below zero. With temperatures and wind chills this low, frostbite and hypothermia are possible. ***

SEVERE WEATHER ALERT DAY (SWAD) ISSUED BY THE FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM: A Severe Weather Alert Day (SWAD) has been issued for Tuesday, January 7. Highs today will only make it to the low and middle teens. Gusty winds in addition to the cold polar air will provide wind chill values around 0° to -20°. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning for the entire viewing area for the same reason.

Stay warm out there.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
January 7, 2014

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