Dangerously cold conditions forecast for the Carolinas - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Dangerously cold conditions forecast for the Carolinas

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Arctic cold front we've been tracking for days has moved through, and now temperatures are falling to the coldest readings we've seen in years.

We can thank a "polar vortex" for the blast of cold that has put over two dozen states, including the Carolinas, under a Wind Chill Warning or Advisory. This mass of swirling, cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere is dragging down extremely cold air from the North Polar region, and bringing it through two thirds of the U.S.

What does this pattern mean for us?

In the mountains, anywhere from 2-5 inches of snow, or more, will fall through tonight. Overnight, moisture levels become tapped out, but dangerously cold temperatures settle in. Folks in the NC High Country will likely wake up to temperature readings below zero. Wind chills could be as low as -30°. That means frostbite could set in on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.

The Foothills will see the cold, but the snow won't come that far east. You should still bundle up and make sure to dress warmly. Your Wind Chills will be dangerously low.

In the Piedmont, overnight lows are forecast in the single digits and wind chills will fall below 0°, and won't climb above 20° Tuesday afternoon.

Everyone should take precautions. Bundle up, and make sure pets, plants, and pipes are protected or brought inside. If you're heading out tomorrow, dress in layers and remember that hats, scarves and gloves are a must.

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