Arctic blast to give way to warmer temperatures

DOVER — Delaware residents opened their doors to bitter-cold temperatures and even more bone-chilling wind chills on Monday morning.

Despite temperatures in Kent and Sussex counties rising to only around 20 degrees with winds gusting near 30 mph on Monday, there were a couple of positives — at least it was sunny, and schools were closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, keeping many children away from what would have been frigid bus stops.

Trent Davis, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, said that he expected Monday to be the worst of the quick cold snap, with temperatures slowly rising today before a chance of rain enters the picture and warmer temperatures return on Wednesday.

On Monday, the NWS had issued a wind chill advisory until 1 p.m. and had a wind advisory in effect until 6 p.m.

“You could say it’s been pretty cold, well, actually brutally cold in Delaware (on Monday),” Mr. Davis said. “(Monday) is really the main brunt of it and Sunday night was really the worst of it. Monday afternoon around Dover it’s 19 degrees, so even the sun is making it feel a little bit better, but it is still very cold. A wind that is gusting up to 36 mph at times is making it feel like it’s zero degrees.

“(Today) you can add about 10 degrees to the temperatures with a high around 29 degrees. It will be mostly sunny once again and the good news is the winds will drop down a little more, which should make things more bearable.”

Mr. Davis said Delaware will get a reprieve from the arctic blast on Wednesday as he expects the high temperature to be near 50 degrees with a 50 percent chance of rain.

Despite the freeze, Delaware Electric Cooperative and Delmarva Power did not have any power outages listed on their websites on Monday afternoon.

Becky Martin, director of Code Purple Kent County, said that shelters have been working their hardest to get the area’s homeless population off the streets and out of the dangerous cold.

“We are fine,” Mrs. Martin said. “Our sanctuaries have been wonderful with their awesome volunteers. There is nothing that we need at this time. We are prepared for emergency weather.

“I just wish Dover had a place during the day on holidays and weekends for people to go as it is too much for (our shelters) to stay open 24/7.”

Several of the Code Purple shelters in Dover and Smyrna were open both day and night on Monday.

Master Cpl. Hoffman, spokesman for the Dover Police Department, said he was off on Monday but had not heard of any issues due to the cold weather as of Monday afternoon.

“We send out shelter info (Code Purple) to our officers regularly as a reminder of who to contact or put homeless in contact with for shelter and will routinely check on the welfare of people we contact,” Master Cpl. Hoffman said.

Many other people took Monday’s frigid holiday off and spent it the best way they knew how — inside.

Gabrielle Fay, of Dover, is originally from Minnesota and she even said the cold weather was a little too much for her.

“Being from Minnesota I love the cold, but even I am staying inside with a warm bowl of soup and freshly baked cookies,” she said. “I made macaroons and oatmeal chocolate chip.”

Allan Scrutchfield, of Hartly, took an extra day to enjoy the New England Patriots’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday night. He is a diehard Pats’ fan.

“The pellet stove is making it warmer in Hartly,” Mr. Scrutchfield said. “I took (Monday) off, no sense going out in it if I don’t have to. I will be working (Tuesday). I am a firm believer in the loose layers philosophy and I will change my socks often to help keep my toes warm.”

Richard Krueger Jr., a Dover resident, said he didn’t have any big plans on Monday.

“I’m staying indoors,” he said, “but bundling up extra warm if going out — especially the head, and, of course, watching Netflix.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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