The predicted low on Tuesday is to be six degrees, and wind chills are expected to reach below zero both Monday and Tuesday, according to Jessica Chase, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Calera.
The old record, which was reached during a cold snap of several days in 1970, was 11 degrees, Chase said. (That cold snap produced a low of 2 degrees on a different day.)
The NWS forecast calls for a cold front coming through the area today, with rain switching over to a mix of snow and sleet by 9 p.m.
“By midnight we’ll see a temperature of 24 degrees falling to 14 degrees Monday morning,” she said, adding that the temperature will only increase to 19 degrees by Monday afternoon.
Chase said there is a chance for light accumulation from tonight to early Monday morning. Anniston could receive up to a quarter-inch of snow, according to Chase, while neighboring counties Etowah and Cleburne could receive up to half-an-inch.
Wrap-around moisture is also predicted to cause a 15 percent chance of snow flurries for Monday, Chase said.
Preparing for Battle
Dave Mogil and Johnny Douthitt were among the shoppers wandering through Lowe’s Saturday afternoon. Both were looking for heaters to help them stay warm through the upcoming forecasts.
Douthitt, who said he got the last Infrared Fuel Heater in the store, has been living in the back room of his auto-detailing shop since the tornado outbreak in 2011. Douthitt said he was shopping for a new heater because his old one broke.
“I was not about to let me get cold in that building,” he said.
Mogil, who said he was shopping for a heater because his apartment hasn’t been warming up properly, offered advice on what other’s should do to prepare for the cold temperatures. He said people should have water, canned goods, blankets, and even suggested a battery backup for those with electric ignition gas heaters.
Employees at both the Anniston Lowe’s and Walmart told a reporter Saturday that they had sold out of water faucet covers, which they said could be attributed to the upcoming cold temperatures.
For those with pets, veterinarian Barry G. Nicholls with Animal Medical Center suggested keeping them inside during the cold spell, and if they do need to go outside, make sure the pads of their feet have been wiped clean of rain, ice, or snow so they don’t get frostbite.
Peter McCurley, who fosters dogs for the dog rescue group Semper Fi Rescue in Oxford, said he is even planning to build neighbors’ two dogs a doghouse before the cold front hits. They can’t afford to buy a new one, he said.
“We’re going to buy some plywood and 2-by-4s and build them something nice,” he said by phone Saturday.
Several area schools announced last week that they will be delaying the start of classes this week to avoid problems with early-morning cold. Gadsden State Community College announced that it would delay opening by two hours on Monday and Tuesday and Faith Christian School announced it would delay classes by two hours on Monday.
Other schools planning two-hour delays Monday through Wednesday include Anniston, Calhoun County, Cleburne County, Jacksonville, Oxford and Piedmont public schools, the Donoho School and Sacred Heart Catholic School in Anniston.
Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @MCzebiniak_Star.