cold

Cold temperatures will take over the Burke County forecast starting Tuesday.

A couple of cool days and a couple of mild days will lead into the coldest weather of the season so far for people in Burke County.

According to the National Weather Service’s forecast as of Thursday afternoon, after a high of 48 degrees midday Tuesday, a cold front is expected to arrive, dropping temperatures into the 30s by that evening and subfreezing conditions with a low of 22 that night.

Cold conditions are expected to linger in the NWS forecast with a high of 42 on Wednesday, a low of 23 that night and a high of 46 on Wednesday. The 10-day forecast from The Weather Channel extends the cold snap to 22 on Wednesday night, a high of 49 next Thursday and a low of 28 that night.

“Right now, we’re expecting — with the colder air next week — a strong cold front that’s going to bring some pretty significant cold temperatures from Canada,” said Sandy LaCorte, a meteorologist with the NWS’ Greenville-Spartanburg office. “It’s a cold high-pressure system coming from Canada that could bring temperatures that are going to be colder than we see, typically, in January.”

Tuesday’s forecast also features a 50 percent call for precipitation. What kind of precipitation that will be still is undetermined, LaCorte said.

“Right now, just given how far out it is, I’d say there could be the potential for some snow flurries mixed in (with rain),” LaCorte said. “Right now, our forecast is showing either rain or snow. Usually, those details become more defined once we get a better idea of the air mass in place. That’s when we’ll be able to see whether it’s rain versus sleet versus snow versus freezing rain.”

With the combination of damp conditions and well-below-freezing temperatures, the threat of black ice will arise, LaCorte said.

Next week’s cold weather will be preceded by sunshine and 50-degree temperatures today with an overnight low of 25. Saturday will be 51 and sunny, Saturday night mostly clear with a low of 30, Sunday sunny and 62 and Sunday night mostly clear with a low of 36.

Veterans Day’s forecast calls for a high of 64 degrees, with an overnight low of 39 and a 40 percent chance of rain from mostly cloudy skies after 11 p.m.

As winterlike weather rolls into the area, there are several ways the NWS advises locals to be prepared.

“If you have any outdoor pets or animals, be mindful,” LaCorte said. “If you can bring pets indoors, do so. If they’re animals that stay outside, make sure they have an area where they can stay warm.

“Anyone who is venturing outside should make sure they have layers, especially for kids who may be waiting at the bus stop. Folks who are traveling should make sure they have coats, mittens, gloves and such.”

LaCorte said people should take precautions to prevent pipes from freezing. She also warned of carbon monoxide, the “silent killer.”

“Right now is the best time for folks to check their batteries in their carbon-monoxide detectors,” she said. “We kind of suggest that with the time change. A big thing is don’t run generators indoors. Don’t use a gas oven to heat your home. Don’t sit in your garage with your car running, because that can cause carbon-monoxide buildup.”

LaCorte said that with cold weather approaching, now also is a good time to make sure vehicles are in good working order. People should make sure their batteries are good, fluid levels are where they’re supposed to be and tires are in good shape. People should have jumper cables, blankets and warm clothes in the car in case of a breakdown.

For a full section of information about winter information from the National Weather Service, visit weather.gov/safety/winter. The page offers information about winter weather safety, the difference between winter warnings and watches, and what to do before, during and after winter storms, along with much more.

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Justin Epley can be reached at jepley@morganton.com or 828-432-8943.

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