Blast of frigid weather on way; Code Purple shelters open doors

DOVER — A blast of frigid winter weather is expected to steamroll into Kent and Sussex counties this morning, bringing with it some snow squalls that could lead to a total accumulation of less than a half inch, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

A wind advisory is in effect for Kent and Sussex counties from 11 this morning until 10 tonight.

Snow squalls are possible this afternoon and could result in gusty winds, a quick snow accumulation, significantly reduced visibility and hazardous driving conditions.

The NWS is calling for a chance of snow showers, mainly between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. this afternoon, as the cloud cover increases and temperatures stay around 33 degrees. It is expected to be breezy in the afternoon with a southwest wind 15 to 24 mph becoming northwest. Winds could gust as high as 39 mph. The chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

It is expected to be mostly clear tonight with a low around 7 degrees and wind chill values as low as minus-8. It will remain blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 22 mph decreasing to 11 to 16 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

Temperatures will remain cold on Thursday as it is expected to be sunny with a high near 20 and wind chill values as low as minus-8.

Code Purple shelters ready for action

With Delaware facing the coldest temperatures of the winter from tonight through Thursday, Code Purple is being declared across the state by the nonprofit and volunteer organizations that operate the shelters to keep people who are homeless safe during dangerous winter weather.

When severe snowstorms or sub-zero temperatures are forecast in Delaware, the organizations that manage Code Purple sites activate their shelters. The Code Purple declarations, which vary by county and site, open up additional beds and warm shelter space beyond the year-round shelter beds available across the state.

To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1 or click the Code Purple button at Or call the Delaware Housing Alliance’s Centralized Intake Line at 1-833-FIND-BED (833-346-3233). If you see someone outside who appears to be homeless, encourage them to seek emergency shelter or call a non-emergency police number to alert the police to the situation.

The wind chills across the state from tonight through Thursday are expected to be below-zero, with overnight lows today through Friday not expected to climb above the teens. That means the risk for frostbite and/or hypothermia increases after even a short time outside.

“We are grateful to the series of nonprofits and volunteers that operate Code Purple shelters across our state,” said Gov. John Carney. “This is the true meaning of neighbors helping neighbors.”

“The below-zero wind chills coming to Delaware will mean dangerous conditions outside,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. “We encourage anyone without a place to go to find a spot at a Code Purple shelter.”

Details about the shelters, which are organized and operated by nonprofit organizations or volunteers:

Code Purple has been declared in Kent County (hotline at 800-733-6816) through Jan. 31. The schedule:
• Centennial United Methodist Church, 44 E. Mount Vernon St., Smyrna (5 p.m. through Jan. 31)
• Peoples Church, 26 S. Bradford St., Dover (5 p.m. through Jan. 31)
• Marantha Life Changing Church, 1235 E. Division St., Dover. (5 p.m. through Jan. 31)

There are separate Code Purple volunteer organizations for western Sussex and eastern Sussex:
• Western Sussex: Code Purple shelters – a collection of churches – are open each night now through March 15, regardless of temperature. Separate shelters are operated for men and for women (with or without children). For information, call the Code Purple Hotline at 302-519-0024.
• Eastern Sussex: Code Purple already is being observed – regardless of weather – seven days a week until spring at Immanuel Shelter, 37439 Oyster House Road, Rehoboth Beach. The shelter serves men and women. For more information, call 1-888-634-9992.


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