Bitter cold arriving today

A frigid blast of winter weather with potentially record breaking low temperatures is expected to take hold of the region this weekend.

Temperatures on Sunday could tie or break the record of 11 degrees for the coldest Feb. 15, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Carrieann Marit said.

The cold weather will roll in Saturday morning with snow showers, high winds and temperatures in the 20s. The temperatures will fall throughout the day as a cold front moves through the area.

“One of the largest threats Saturday will be the potential for localized burst of heavy snow, to set up over one area,” said Marit. “This can lead to reduced visibility quickly and without warning.”

About an inch or so of snow is expected to accumulate, Marit said. “Winds will increase throughout the day with gusts up to 40 miles per hour possible at times,” Marit said.

The cold threat prompted Montgomery County to issue a Level 2 weather alert that will be in effect from noon Saturday Feb. 14 through noon Monday Feb. 16.

The county activates a Level 2 when temperatures or wind chill are forecasted to be 10 degrees or below for a 24 hour period or increments of 24 hours on weekends and holidays, or when eight inches or more of snow is forecast or accumulated.

As part of the plan, St. Vincent de Paul will provide shelter to anyone who needs it. Guests are allowed to remain in the shelter all day during the severe weather period.

Cindy Antrican, public affairs manager for AAA, advised motorists who must venture out Saturday morning to be cautious. It’s best to “stay out of the pack, stay alert, look around and leave yourself an out,” she said. “Your goal is to be proactive, rather than reactive.”

Snow will taper down in the evening, and the low temperature will be around 1 degree. “Wind chill values will fall well below zero Saturday night and will not rise above zero at all on Sunday,” Marit said.

Wind chills will likely be below zero, then winds will relax through the afternoon.

Sun and clouds lead to some recovery in temperature, on Monday, with highs expected in the low-20s.

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