Temperatures unseasonably low for December

The freezing, windy weather that has driven Augustans to their electric blankets and hot cocoa should soon warm a bit, but there's a slight chance of snow on Wednesday.


Temperatures Monday never got out of the 30s while winds gusted up to 30 mph as an arctic air mass surged across the region, said Dan Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia.

That's considerably lower than the average high temperature in the 50s that Augusta typically feels this time of year. This week's highs -- in the 30s -- are closer to the average lows for this time of year, he said. January is usually when temperatures bottom out to what residents are seeing now.

Winds were expected to subside overnight, Miller said.

A wind advisory is in effect until 7 a.m. today, according to Pam Tucker, the director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations.

Today's temperatures are expected to rise to the 40s after lows in the mid- to upper-teens.

A chance of light snow and sleet sneaks into the area again late Wednesday night when another weather system sweeps through the Southeast.

"There's the possibility that the precipitation could start out as light snow or sleet mainly north of Augusta," Miller said. "We not expecting any accumulation, but that should turn to rain by early Thursday."

Highs on Thursday will push into the 50s, followed by the same Friday.

Cold weather safety


-- If you plan on using an alternate heating source, never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
-- Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
-- If using a space heater, follow the manufacturer's instructions . Place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.

-- Open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes.
-- Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.


-- Never operate a generator inside your home, including the basement or garage.
-- Do not hook up a generator directly to your home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

-- Check smoke alarms once a month by pressing the test button and replace batteries as necessary.
-- Don't overload your electrical outlets.
-- Be careful with candles - do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.

-- If possible, bring pets indoors. If you can't bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.

Protect Yourself:
-- Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, which will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
-- Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves. Wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
-- Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
-- Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
-- Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.
-- Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

Source: Pam Tucker, director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations