Christmas Eve and Christmas greeted by bitter cold, some snow
Published 3:07 pm Thursday, December 22, 2022
The coldest weather, thusfar, of the winter arrived in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day making it a very cold time for last-minute shoppers as well as for Santa and his reindeer.
The cold wind chill could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
The National Weather Service report says a wind chill warning will be in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday with wind chills 10 to 20 degrees below zero in lower elevations, and as low as 25 to 35 below zero at the higher elevations. Wind gusts are expected to be between 30 and 50 mph in some areas. Wind this strong may result in downed trees and powerlines, which may cause power outages while temperatures are extremely cold.
The NWS warns to avoid outside activities if possible. When outside make sure you wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves. The weather service also warns that if you plan to use alternative sources of heat or electricity in your home, to be careful. They also ask that everyone use safety precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, or a fire. Portable generators should be operated outdoors in a dry and well ventilated area.
The “once in a generation” winter storm as some are calling it will impact nearly every state in the union and cripple Christmas travel.
More than 90 million people are under winter weather alerts and more than 87 million are under wind chill alerts. The alerts stretch across 37 states, dipping as far south as the Texas/Mexico border.
The number of people under winter alerts and wind chill alerts has grown to over 100 million people, or roughly a third of the U.S. population, according to the National Weather Service.
The cold temperatures will stay through Christmas weekend, before finally moderating next week.
According to the NWS the last time that the Tri-Cities had a white Christmas — an inch or more of snowfall falling on Christmas Day — was on Dec. 25, 2010. The Tri-Cities Airport recorded 1.2 inches of snow.
The average snowfall for a season in the Tri-Cities is 9.2 inches.
According to WJHL-TV, you must go back about three decades to see anything to compare with this weekend’s bitter cold temperatures. In fact, 1989 is the year that had a similar stretch of cold conditions with nearly four days of continuous below-freezing conditions.
Most area road departments as well as the electric department are on alert this weekend in case of downed trees and power lines as well as icy streets and roads. Some streets in the city are being pre-treated for any ice or snow that may fall.
Elizabethton has many homeless on its streets. Although there are no public shelters in our community, if a person is in need they may go to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department or Elizabethton Police Department to seek help. Also, the River’s Edge Dream Center on Highway 19-E Bypass provides the homeless a place to sleep and access social services. The center offers beds, meals, personal hygiene services and case management to provide assistance in finding housing and work. The center operates on a first come-first serve basis.
Temperatures should begin moderating some Monday with daytime temperatures back in the 40s by Wednesday.