Fans coming to Charlotte for the Belk Bowl on Friday will be sitting in a brisk but bearable 41 degrees when the game starts at 1 p.m.
If you’re planning to stay in uptown for New Year’s Eve, plan on wearing clothes that cover every square inch of your body.
The bowl game and its pre-game fan party on Thursday night at the EpiCentre are happening just before Charlotte gets plunged into a “dangerously cold” period that will last until the middle of next week, according to forecasters.
Belk Bowl fans will get a taste of it Thursday night, when temperatures are expected to fall into the mid-20s.
But the worst conditions will start New Year’s Eve, when the high will be 38 and the low will be 21. It will continue to get colder Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said.
“A very cold arctic air mass will move into the area Sunday and remain in place through early in the week,” according to the National Weather Service. “This will result in daily average temperatures up to 15 degrees below normal for at least three days in a row, creating the potential for prolonged dangerously cold conditions.”
The high Monday will be 34 and the low will be around 15. Tuesday’s high will be 35, with a low of 18. Temperatures will rise Wednesday to 38 degrees, but the city likely won’t see 50 degrees again until Jan. 7.
Charlotte’s nonprofit Crisis Assistance Ministry, which helps people in need with utility bills, expects lines to grow outside its doors in coming days as word spreads of the cold snap ahead. Agency officials said more than 70 people lined up Thursday morning in hopes of getting emergency utility or rent assistance.
Need help with utilities?
Crisis Assistance Ministry is Mecklenburg County’s lead agency for emergency utility assistance. It is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for financial assistance (closed Monday for New Year’s Day).
It does not matter if they have received help this year (or if they came and did not receive help), each crisis is a new event and will be evaluated for the specific need at the time they are here. Public and private dollars are combined to meet the need. Private donations are critical as public dollar availability has decreased.
Warm coats are also available Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.