Freeze expected tonight

Published 6:22 pm Monday, January 6, 2014

Temperatures tonight are expected to drop as low as 13 degrees.

Temperatures tonight are expected to drop as low as 13 degrees.

The National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning, a red flag warning and a wind chill advisory for the Andalusia area, as temperatures tonight are expected to drop as low as 13 degrees.

Tonight’s forecast includes partly cloudy conditions, with wind-chill values between 5 and 10 miles per hour. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tomorrow, the high is 34 degrees, with a low of 17 degrees tomorrow night. Tomorrow, daytime conditions are expected to be mostly sunny, with wind-chill values between zero and 10 mph. North wind will be around 5 mph.

A hard freeze warning means there will be a period of several hours with freezing temperatures.

A red flag warning means critical fire conditions are happening, or will occur shortly.

A wind chill advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate bitterly cold wind chills of less than 10 degrees. This could result  in frostbite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.

The hard freeze warning will expire tomorrow at 10 a.m. The advisory is in effect until tomorrow at 4 p.m. The red flag warning will last until Wednesday at 7 a.m.

The NWS recommends that anyone who has to travel outdoors during this time should wear layered clothing, including a hat and gloves.

The weather is expected to be warmer later in the week, with a forecasted high around 50 degrees Wednesday and a low of 26 degrees. Thursday’s high is forecasted at 60 degrees, with a low of 41 degrees.

The Alabama fire marshal’s office has some tips for staying safe in the cold weather.

Home heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, injuries and property damage.

• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.

• Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

• Never use your oven to heat your home.

• Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to state and local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

• Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

• Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. Never use natural gas in LP gas appliances or vice versa.

• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

• Remember to test your smoke alarms monthly.

• Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet at a time.