A cold yet dry air mass is expected to move into the Charlotte area Sunday, bringing chilly temperatures but low chances of precipitation for the next couple of days. New Year’s Day is expected to be the coldest Jan. 1 in the city in nearly a decade.
Sunday is expected to have highs in the upper 30s during the day, but that night, New Year’s Eve will likely bring lows in the teens.
Lauren Carroll, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C., recommended not staying outside for extended periods of time once the temperatures drop that low. She said this could hinder outdoor New Year’s Eve plans.
“Being without shelter with temperatures in the teens for hours at a time, and it does look like it will be for multiple hours, that could become a really big problem as far as hypothermia goes,” she said.
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And it likely won’t get much warmer on New Year’s Day, which is expected to bring temperatures that barely rise above freezing, with highs in the low 30s. According to the National Weather Service, it hasn’t been this cold in the Charlotte area for the New Year’s holiday since 2009.
Carroll said an entire day of below-freezing temperatures like this could cause issues for homes such as the freezing of pipes. She recommended that outdoor pets be given shelter or brought inside.
However, these temperatures probably won’t break any records. The record low for New Year’s Day in the Charlotte area is 10 degrees, which was back in 1928.
Carroll said when there are multiple days like this, with temperatures that barely rise above freezing, the homeless population could face life-threatening issues.
Charlotte’s homeless shelters are adding emergency beds and putting out increased efforts to get people off the street as this dangerous cold air mass rolls in. About 130 houses of worship and others have partnered with the Urban Ministry Center’s Room In The Inn program to provide shelter and food for people who can’t get into homeless shelters during cold periods like this.
The cold is expected to persist throughout the next week.
Monday night and early Tuesday have expected lows in the mid-teens across the Charlotte area, Carroll said.
Wednesday is expected to bring slightly warmer temperatures, with highs in the low 40s, but overnight lows should be in the low 20s.
This week is expected to be the longest sustained period of cold for Charlotte’s winter season so far.
Metzler: 704-231-5316, @crmetzler