Round 3, Arctic Cold
The third harsh cold wave of the winter, all 3 armed with pure arctic blood, has descended upon our region to start this last week of January as the winter of 2014 makes its case for greatness.
Late Monday night reports of a major water main break in Ashland may be the tip of the iceberg so to speak as our infrastructure pays a big price for the relentless cold assault. More breaks like this and an incredible late winter-spring pothole season are ahead.
With another bout of frozen water pipes assured in our region, it is best to keep the water trickling and those basin cabinets open until Thursday afternoon.
Feeding off an endless reservoir of frigid air parked over Quebec and Ontario, this third shot of brutal air has pushed the storm track so far south that an ice and snow storm is about to “embrace” the Northern Gulf States all the way from the French Quarter in New Orleans to the famous Myrtle Beach Grand Strand.
The ice and snow accumulations down south have a chance to damage fruit and ornamental trees in Dixie a mere 6 weeks from the start of the southern growing season. Peach tree, dogwood and azalea tree/shrub branches could be damaged in Georgia, including at the home of the Masters at Augusta National.
There was a narrow window of opportunity for a period of light snow to streak across the far southern sections of the WSAZ viewing area on Tuesday afternoon. From the Breaks Interstate Park south and from Bluefield WV south to Wytheville Va on I-77 a fresh coating of snow was likely. That means our far southern Coalfields would see some flurries on Tuesday afternoon.
But the big story locally the next two mornings will see the first light of day begin with air temperatures zero to +5 in town and 5 below in cold hollows protected from the wind.
Despite some of polar sunshine, highs will struggle to 15 on Tuesday and 20 on Wednesday before gravitating above freezing Thursday and into the 40s by Thursday and Friday.