Arctic air mass prompts warning from Rowan Emergency Services

Arctic air mass prompts warning from Rowan Emergency Services

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A cold arctic air mass settling in over the area has prompted Rowan County Emergency Services to issue a warning highlighting the dangers of very cold weather.

"The whole week ahead will be well below average but dry," said WBTV meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases. "Highs will be in the 30s most days with overnight lows in the teens. You may have heard the expression before, 'it's too cold to snow.'  Well, while that's not exactly true verbatim, the high pressure systems providing the cold air are too strong and the air is too dry to support any snow."

The warning From Rowan Emergency Services notes that cold weather will likely result in high demand for electricity across the region. Power outages may result from the heavy electrical load. Those who require electricity for heating or medical equipment should consider having backup heat or electrical sources available.

Extended period of sub-freezing temperatures that could lead to hypothermia issues and burst water pipes due to freezing.

There will also likely be wind chill values that could cause frostbite if exposure is not limited.

Dry air will increase the possibility for fire danger.

Residents are warned to use caution with space heaters in order to avoid fire or injury.

If emergency generators will be used, they must be situated outdoors in well-ventilated areas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

The warning notes that residents should take steps now to protect property and health from the extreme cold.

If you go outside, wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves.

Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf.

If driving, keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Check your antifreeze and windshield washer fluid levels.

Be sure to carry a fully charged cell phone.

While at home, consider allowing indoor plumbing fixtures to drip to permit water to trickle through pipes and inhibit freezing.

Also, remember to check in on family, friends, and elderly neighbors who might be susceptible to the cold. Do not forget about your pets and livestock.

Make sure they have a source of water that will not freeze and a warm place to take shelter from the wind and cold.

Do not attempt to walk on frozen ponds, lakes, or streams, the warning notes, as the ice will not be thick enough to support the weight - even of a child.

A cold wave is defined as average daily temperatures 12 degrees or more below normal mid-January average daily temperatures for 48 hours or longer.

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