Cold snap expected in early morning hours

DOVER — As expected, the state was hit with Saturday evening rainfall ahead of an anticipated cold snap Sunday night. According to the National Weather Service station in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, temperatures as low as 11 degrees with the potential for sub-zero wind chills may hit later this evening.

Due to expected gusts as high as 43 mph, a wind chill advisory remains in effect for the entire state from 11 p.m. tonight to 1 a.m. Monday morning.

Rainfall dumped on the state may also make for dangerous “flash freeze” conditions on some roads. According to the Delaware Environmental Observing System, most of the state had about an inch of rainfall since Saturday morning — most of it coming in the evening. The north and south portions of the state caught the worst of it with Claymont, Greenville, Georgetown, Lewes and Bethany Beach all picking up around an inch and a half of rain in the last 24 hours. Mid-state fared better with most collection stations in Kent County reporting only about a half inch of rainfall in the same time period.

Precipitation will likely come to an end as the strong cold front moves through the region in the afternoon today, says the National Weather Service.

DelDOT was unable to brine roadways, as commonly practiced ahead of similar conditions, because precipitation would have washed the pre-treatment solution from road surfaces. Agency spokesman Charles “C.R.” McLeod said Friday that they’ll be monitoring roadways, but motorists should be aware that icy conditions may abound.
“Once the rain has ended, DelDOT crews will be salting roads across the state as the temperatures fall below freezing,” he said at the time.

Cold temperatures are expected to linger on Monday, despite the help of the sun. A high near 20 degrees is forecast with still sub-zero wind chills carried by 37 mph gusts.

To some extent Monday travel will be serendipitously limited by the Martin Luther King federal holiday. Schools, state and federal buildings and many other businesses will be closed.

The Weather Service doesn’t expect the cold snap to start relinquishing its grip until Wednesday with a forecast high of 50 degrees.

Homeless shelters on alert
Code Purple Shelters are expected to open their doors for homeless people without sanctuary at 5 p.m. today.

Women and children can report to Marantha Church at 1235 E. Division St. in Dover, men to Wyoming Methodist Church at 216 Wyoming Mill Road. Transportation will be available at the Dover Public Library beginning at 4:30 p.m. Today, Peoples Church at 26 S. Bradford St. opens at 5 p.m.

Smyrna’s Centennial Church at 44 E. Mount Vernon St. opens at 5 p.m. today as well for men only.
“We are ready, we have plenty of food, water, socks, hand warmers and supplies – we are ready,” Code Purple Director Becky Martin said Friday.

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