By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Much of the country starts January 1, 2018 in a deep freeze with actual temperatures below zero in many locations from Montana southward to Missouri and all the way eastward to Maine. Some locations in Montana and North Dakota dropped to -35 degrees overnight. That’s COLD! Alabama hasn’t escaped, either. At 7 am this Monday morning, temperatures ranged from 10 degrees at Muscle Shoals to 23 degrees in Mobile. Combined with the wind, many locations in north AL will have wind chills below zero today, and again tonight into Tuesday morning.
Unfortunately, it will remain bitterly cold for much of the week across the state. High temperatures today will get above freezing only for areas south of a Livingston – Montgomery – Opelika line, and even then only into the middle to upper 30s. The attached map shows the forecast low temperatures tonight, the coldest of the week. Single digits will be common across the northern 1/3 of the state and drop into the middle teens near the coast.
For the rest of the week, high temperatures on Tuesday and Thursday will range from the middle 20s north to lower 40s south, middle 30s north to middle 40s south on Wednesday and Friday, and upper 30s north to near 50 south on Saturday.
Low temperatures Wednesday through Saturday will generally range from the middle teens to lower 20s.
Remember the four P’s during this cold outbreak…People, Pets, Plants and Pipes! Make sure your pets have a warm place to sleep and food to eat. Watch household pipes! Open cabinets under the faucet and let water slowly trickle. Check on the elderly and disabled to ensure they are safe. For more safety tips and information, go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/cold/index.shtml.