Extreme cold will make for ‘brutal weekend’ in Delaware

DOVER — The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for Delaware in advance of bitterly cold temperatures.

The agency said in the alert temperatures tonight “into early Sunday morning will fall to between zero and 5 above in and around Philadelphia and areas south and east,” with wind chills that “could reach life-threatening levels as cold as 15 to 30 below zero.”

Central Delaware could see some snow flurries, but the main weather condition is the freezing temperature which is expected to reach no higher than the low 20s this weekend.

“It’s really going to be a brutal weekend as far as temperatures go,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kristin Kline.

An arctic front moving down from the Great Lakes Friday night and this morning puts the mid-Atlantic and Delmarva regions in a deep freeze, with a thaw expected Monday, Ms. Kline said.

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The fountain outside of Pippin Funeral Home in Camden was completely frozen over in the 20-degree cold on Friday. The frigid weather will continue this weekend. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

The National Weather Service’s forecast calls for a high of 22 today, with wind gusts that could reach up to 46 mph. Temperatures may dip to the single digits tonight, and the wind is expected to remain strong.

Sunday will not be much better. Although the wind is predicted to be a little less fierce, temperatures will likely stay in the teens.

Fortunately for all those sick of winter (probably most people), Monday will see the temperature rise above freezing.

Washington’s Birthday is expected to have a high of 38, although there is a 50 percent chance of rain and snow during the day.

The National Weather Service urges people to beware of frostbite, which it warns could set in after less than 30 minutes outside.

To prevent frostbite and hypothermia, anyone venturing outside should dress warmly, with gloves, a hat and several layers of clothing.

People should be cognizant of elderly family members, friends and neighbors, as well as pets.

Animals should not be left outside and may need to be bundled up when venturing out into the elements.

The cold also poses a risk for pipes and car batteries, which the weather could cause to freeze and die, respectively.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, car batteries lose a third of their power at 32 degrees.

The organization said it received more than 12,000 calls last year on Washington’s Birthday, with about half of those due to battery troubles.

The National Weather Service advises those in areas affected by the cold front to run water at a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing and to check car batteries.

Having a car emergency kit that includes a blanket and warm clothes can be helpful in the event the vehicle breaks down and causes occupants to become stranded.

People should also shy away from using a stove or oven to hear homes and using a flame to melt frozen pipes, which can cause fires.

Delaware schools closed for a day in February 2015 due to temperatures that reached down into the single digits.

With the cold front hitting the state over the weekend, schools are not a concern this time around.

Code Purple shelters will be active due to the cold.

People can connect to Code Purple by calling Delaware 2-1-1, searching for “Code Purple” on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or visiting www.delaware211.org and clicking on the Cord Purple button.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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