Extreme cold expected Friday through Christmas weekend

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Forecasters are warning residents to prepare for bitterly cold temperatures this holiday weekend as the lows could go into the teens.

According to the Covington County Emergency Management Agency, as of Tuesday morning, an arctic cold front is expected to move across the area Thursday night into early Friday morning, bringing a sharply colder mass of air. Temperatures by Friday morning are currently being forecasted in the teens and 20s across much of the interior with temperatures elsewhere forecast to be near or below freezing. Additionally, strong northwest winds will make it feel much colder with wind chill values possibly in the negative to single digits across northern portions of the area.

High temperatures on Friday will likely stay near, or just below, freezing for most areas northwest of I-65 with wind chill values in the teens and 20s for most of the area.

The coldest temps across the area are expected Friday night, with lows now forecast to range between 10 to 20 degrees north of I-10, and upper teens to low/mid-20s down to the coast. Wind chill values Friday night into Saturday morning will likely be in the single digits in areas away from the coast.

Similar overnight temperatures are again expected Saturday and Sunday nights, but slightly warmer by a few degrees each night. Daytime highs will be slowly moderating as well, with highs on Saturday and Sunday mainly in the 30s, with 40s closer to and along the coast. By Monday, temperatures will warm into the mid-40s to lower 50s across the area.

It is possible that once some areas north of Highway 84 drop below freezing late Thursday night and Friday morning that temperatures may not rise back above freezing until Sunday afternoon.

Widespread hard freeze watches and warnings, as well as wind chill advisories, are likely to be issued within the next 36 hours, with a possible wind advisory on Friday in the wake of the arctic front. In addition, gale warnings are expected across the marine area as well.