UPDATE 10 A.M. Jan. 7: Temperatures hit a record low this morning, hovering around minus 2, with windchill minus 24 in some areas. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning until noon, the city of Asheville has delayed garbage and recycling pickup, and the Red Cross has opened a warming shelter to serve Henderson and Transylvania counties.
Duke Energy is advising its customers to conserve electricity over the next 24 hours.
UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, both Asheville City and Buncombe County schools are closed tomorrow due to the wind chill and weather conditions.
Thanks to a “bitterly cold arctic air mass,” in the National Weather Service’s words, Ashevilleans will have to grapple with “the coldest temperatures in many years,” hovering around zero tonight and wind chill as low as minus 14 tomorrow. The NWS warns of bad roadway conditions due to ice, a smattering of snow and “dangerous wind chills” later today and this evening.
The NWS warning advises people to avoid travel if at all possible and be aware that such extreme wind chill “will result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia or death if precautions are not taken.” Temperaturesare expected to plunge into the single digits by this afternoon. Madison and Haywood counties are facing a winter storm warning as well due to predicted snowfall.
Both Asheville City and Buncombe County schools are closed today (here’s a list from WLOS rounding up local school closures and delays).
ABCCM is also opening an emergency shelter at 207 Coxe Ave. for men, women and children tonight and tomorrow night. Local shelters are under Code Purple, meaning they’ll open their facilities to more people than usual to help ensure that the homeless aren’t left in the cold.