Arctic Plunge arrives this Holiday Weekend

If you are traveling out of town or even staying in the Metro Atlanta area this weekend, you need to be aware of dangerously cold conditions that arrive in time for the Christmas holiday.

Temperatures will drop to below freezing through Friday afternoon, and they will remain below freezing through Sunday evening. A hard freeze for this long in duration will stress plumbing, and burst pipes may be an issue who do not take precautions before the weekend.

In addition, wind gusts as high as 30 to 40 mph on Friday morning through Saturday afternoon may cause spotty power outages, enough to leave many in the cold and in the dark.

The cold temperatures and strong winds will combine to create dangerously low wind chill values this week.

Temperature Outlook

The Arctic blast will arrive on Friday morning, dropping temperatures into the upper 20s through Friday afternoon. By Saturday morning, temperatures will dip into the teens -- including areas inside the Perimeter. The winds will still be blustery, and “feels like” wind chill values will dip below zero on Saturday morning!

Morning lows will be back down in the teens again on Sunday morning, and despite the sunshine on Sunday afternoon, temperatures will remain in the low 30s. Another hard freeze is expected through Monday morning before a marginal thaw on Monday afternoon.

The animation below illustrates the forecast temperatures for Friday morning through Monday morning.

Wind Gusts: Power Outages Possible

The Arctic cold front will arrive in Metro Atlanta between Midnight and 7am Friday morning, bringing gusty winds to the area. Wind gusts as high as 35 to 40 mph are possible, which may be strong enough to knock down a few power lines. Power outages mean no heating in homes and businesses while utility crews work to repair the lines. Keep extra jackets and blankets on hand in case power outages occur.

The animation below illustrates the forecast wind gusts for Friday morning through Saturday morning.

Dangerous Wind Chills

Cold temperatures by themselves are tough enough, but with the strong wind gusts, the “feels like” wind chill temperatures will be even lower.

Wind gusts as high as 25 mph on Saturday morning may produce wind chill values as low as -5 to 5 degrees.

Wind chill values this low is 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.”

The animation below illustrates the forecast “feels like” wind chill values for Friday morning through Saturday morning.

Share Your Christmas Temperature Reports with Me!

Facebook: Christina Edwards WSB

Twitter: @ChristinaWSBwx





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