Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 22, 2013

Arctic air bringing single-digit temps, wintry mix to region

BLUEFIELD — A powerful blast of arctic air is causing temperatures across the region to tumble.

Temperatures this morning could start in the single digits before climbing to a daytime high of about 18 degrees. A low of 13 degrees is predicted for tonight, and wind chill values are expected to once again drop close to 5 below zero tonight.

“It looks like by morning we will see temperatures in Bluefield down in the single digits,” Mike Sporer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., said. “It looks like Wednesday morning will probably be the coldest you are going to see.”

A wind chill advisory remains in effect until noon today. Sporer said area residents are urged to protect themselves from the dangerous wind chills.

“That’s why we tell people to dress in layers and cover all exposed skin,” Sporer said. “Get your scarves out and wrap your face up.”

Animals also need protection from the extreme cold, according to Sporer.

“It’s definitely a good idea to take them inside, or at least make sure they have access to a nice shelter,” he said.

The colder air will continue into Thursday before temperatures reach close to the freezing mark. A high of 31 degrees is predicted for Thursday. At that point, another storm system could threaten the region. Sporer said meteorologists are still monitoring the potential storm, which could bring a mixed bag of precipitation to the area beginning Thursday evening. But temperatures on Friday could reach close to 40 — which should change the snow to rain. But the temperature on Friday night would then fall back below freezing, changing the rain back to snow.

“That’s a real tough call at this point,” Sporer said of the potential storm system. “We are waiting on a few more computer models to come in before we get a good handle on what it will do. Basically, it’s a wintry-mix scenario.”

The extended forecast shows the arctic air pushing out of the region by the weekend. However, temperatures will remain in the “normal to slightly below normal” level for the rest of the week, Sporer said.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com�

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