By P.J. Gossett
HAMILTON — “The weather outside is frightful,” might be an accurate statement for this Christmas in northern Alabama. The National Weather Service has forecast a “bitterly cold air mass” to move into the area tomorrow night. Temperatures are expected to fall rapidly below freezing late Thursday night into Friday morning and stay that way at least until Sunday. A representative in the National Weather Service office in Birmingham stated lows in the single digits are forecast for Friday and Saturday mornings, with lows in the 10s Sunday and Monday mornings in Hamilton. The wind chill is also expected to be below zero Friday night.
“This extended period of sub to near freezing temperatures is particularly concerning for those without access to warm shelter, but damage to water pipes and potential power outages may also occur as a result of the bitterly cold temperatures,” the representative stated. “Additionally, wind gusts of 30 to 35 miles per hour may result in wind chills as low as -5 to -10 degrees Friday morning, so folks need to plan and dress accordingly if any time is spent outdoors.”
Eric Terrell, Marion County EMA director, said he hopes everybody will have plenty of time to plan ahead and that with the time we have before it arrives, that it will not sneak up on anyone.
“I ask everybody in the community: if they have heating issues, or know of any elderly people needing help, to get something set up for the weekend, because it’s going to be dangerously cold,” Terrell said.
Terrell also said he could be reached if someone needed a place to stay by calling him at 205-495-1184, and he would put them in touch with the right people and make sure they are taken care of.
A warming station will be set up in the basement of the Bobby Bishop Center in Bear Creek beginning at noon Thursday and continue to noon on Monday.
Information on additional warming stations which may be set up through the week will be posted on our website at myjrpaper.com. Those who may need it should check periodically through this week.
As of noon Monday, the forecast low Thursday night is eight degrees with a breezy high of 18 on Friday and a low of 7 Friday night.
See complete story in the Journal Record.