Get Ready for a Blast of Arctic Air
Moore County is bracing for a blast of frigid air headed this way.
An "arctic cold front" will sweep across central North Carolina on Thursday. The cold air mass could push temperatures into the teens Friday night and early Saturday morning.
That has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a hazardous weather outlook. The high could barely top the freezing mark Friday.
"The really cold weather starts Thursday, and will continue through Saturday afternoon," said Jason Beaman, a Weather Service meteorologist at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Beaman said winds will shift to the northwest by Thursday morning and temperatures will become dramatically colder.
The mass of cold air will stay over the area Friday, and Beaman expects the coldest temperatures Friday night and early Saturday morning, dropping into the low teens.
The cold weather will move out gradually, starting Saturday, with highs reaching the upper 30s. But temperatures will stay below normal through the weekend.
"This front brings air much colder than the coldest air we've seen so far this winter," Beaman said.
Residents hoping for snow are out of luck. There is no precipitation associated with the front, according to the National Weather Service.
Cold weather can pose hazards to many elderly residents.
Terri Prots, director of the Moore County Department of Aging, says the agency doesn't have any funding to buy blankets or other cold weather supplies.
"Anybody can call us (for help)," she says. "We'll do our best, but we'll probably have to send them to the Coalition."
When temperatures drop, there is "absolutely" a higher number of local residents who come in looking for assistance, such as help with home-heating bills, said Caroline Eddy, director of the Coalition for Human Care in Southern Pines.
"Luckily, thanks to the generosity of the local churches and compassionate individuals, we have funds designated for energy assistance and emergency aid," Eddy said
Residents needing assistance are encouraged to come by the Coalition between 8:30 and 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. They need to bring a picture ID, Social Security card or ITIN card.
As the temperature drops, fire prevention officials urge residents to be extremely careful with space heaters. Fires caused by space heaters are more common this time of year.
Homeowners are urged to keep the heaters away from combustible materials, such as curtains and bedding. They should use the proper type of fuel and follow the manufacturers' instructions.
Electric home-heatnig systems will also be working overtime during the extreme cold, but Progress Energy said in a news release that it does not anticipate problems meeting increased demands during the frigid weather.
Contact Laura Eddy by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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