Wind Chill Advisory issued for Lowndes County for Christmas

Published 7:35 pm Thursday, December 22, 2022

Residents of central and south Alabama are bracing for a “very cold” Christmas with temperatures dropping into the teens on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

“We don’t expect snow,” said Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director Rodney Rudolph. “We do expect wind chills, which will feel like the temperature is in the single digits.”

The National Weather Service in Birmingham issued a Wind Chill Advisory in effect tonight through Saturday for counties south of Interstate 20, predicting a combination of cold air and wind which will result in wind chills as low as 5 below zero.

Friday’s high should reach near 29 degrees, with blustery, northwest winds between 15 and 20 miles per hour and gusts as high as 30 mph.

Friday night, temperatures will plummet to 12 degrees, with wind chill values as low as zero.

Christmas Eve’s forecast predicts a 30-degree high and a low around 14. On Christmas Day, the high will peak around 36.

With temperatures dropping unusually low. Rudolph said attempts to stay warm could contribute to hazardous conditions for residents.

“With all the fires going on, I’m concerned about people who use electric heaters,” Rudolph said. “When it’s cold like this, people attempt to heat their homes with space heaters, and we see more fires break out.”

Rudolph advises residents to exercise caution when using electric heaters and to consider other methods of keeping warm.

“People should be very vigilant about their heat source,” Rudolph said. “Watch out for extension cords, which are warmer than usual and lights flickering in the house. Carbon monoxide is a known hazard, too. We call it the silent killer, especially with burning wood for heat when the chimney isn’t properly cleaned.

“I ask people not to sleep with electric heaters on. They can put on more clothes or use extra blankets on the bed.”

With no precipitation in the forecast, Lowndes County Engineer David Butts doesn’t expect roads to ice over.

“It shouldn’t be a problem,” Butts said. “We always keep sand on the yard to sand the bridges, but we don’t have anything planned because there is no chance of rain.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency encourages motorists driving in severe cold-weather events to exercise extreme caution, and prepare for icy bridges and overpasses. Troopers and Special Agents will be on standby to assist before, during, and after any significant weather event.

“At any moment, weather conditions can change drastically,” ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said. “As weather forecasters continue to predict frigid temperatures ahead of the upcoming holidays. Our Agency is already preparing, with all divisions and units developing and implementing wintry-weather operation plans. These efforts will ensure that both ALEA Troopers and Special Agents are fully prepared to aid and assist motorists traveling across the state in the coming days. 

“However, we strongly encourage and recommend that both citizens and visitors prepare now for the incoming weather. In the event conditions worsen, we urge motorists to adjust travel plans and avoid driving in severe weather.”

Motorists can monitor road conditions through local media outlets and check road conditions at algotraffic.com. For a complete list of ALEA storm tips, visit the News Releases tab of alea.gov

For updates on weather conditions for Lowndes County visit the National Weather Service website at weather.gov/bmx.