Alabama and Gadsden and Etowah counties have seen what most would consider very confusing weather conditions in recent days.
Temperatures approached or reached 80 degrees on Saturday, and there were severe storms and several areas under tornado watch. The next day there was snow – even “storm snow” in some areas – leaving 2-3 inches of white matter on the ground in the worst affected areas.
The coldest temperatures so far are expected Thursday evening as arctic air arrives in Alabama. The National Weather Service predicts a low of 21 for Gadsden and that Friday’s high will only be 41. Higher elevations in northern Alabama could lead to winter precipitation during the day on Thursday and lows among teenagers .
To prepare for the cold, here’s a list of five things you can make sure to do ahead of time to keep yourself and your family warm and safe.
It’s time to pull out those winter coats from the back of the closet. Wearing lots of layers is one of the sure-fire ways to keep yourself and your family warm during the cold temperatures. It can also include long-sleeved shirts, thick pants, and accessories such as hats, gloves, socks, and scarves.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac highly recommends keeping your feet warm, primarily by using socks or slippers indoors as well.
“And, don’t forget this health tip: warm hands and feet really help you sleep better. So whether it’s socks or a hot bath, make sure your feet aren’t frozen when you lie down or you’ll have a hard time falling asleep, ”he says.
Keep the house warm
The Old Farmer’s Almanac also offers tips on how to keep your home warm without overly relying on other heat sources that may present a fire hazard. Reviewers have recommended keeping a hot water bottle between the sheets to keep your feet warm overnight, or even keeping the kitchen active with hot water or cooking to increase humidity.
The almanac also recommends blocking drafts with extra towels and blankets. They also said harnessing the sun’s energy by opening blinds and curtains is another easy way to warm the house.
“During the day, open the blinds and curtains on the south-facing windows and let in the warmth of the sun. At night, close the blinds and curtains to better insulate your home, ”he explains.
Bring your pets inside
If you are shivering outside in the cold, chances are your furry friends who spend most of their days outside are too. Bring your pets, especially those with thinner coats that aren’t adequately protected from the elements, indoors as much as possible to keep them warm and toasty.
If by any chance you don’t have the means to bring animals inside as often as you want, you can also make sure that they have adequate, weatherproof shelter in which they can hide. safely. The Daily Puppy also recommends extra insulation and bedding during the colder months to help protect your dog’s joints.
“Add extra insulation to the bed when temperatures drop below freezing. Use an aluminum emergency blanket or space blanket under your dog’s bed. This makes a self-heating bed because the Mylar material reflects body heat back to the dog and the bed, ”they write.
Maintenance of the car
Your vehicle is one of the most important things to maintain in cold weather, but it is also often one of the most overlooked things. Car maintenance, especially during the colder months, is essential to keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Hagerty recommends keeping your car’s gas tank as full as possible to prevent moisture from building up and causing fuel tank problems. He also recommends staying up to date on oil changes and also checking your car’s battery.
“Cold starts put a strain on your battery. Check that your battery is within its intended life (the last three years are worth taking to an auto parts store for an electrical check) and that it is visually in good condition, ”he recommends. .
Stay on top of the weather and traffic
One of the biggest dangers in cold weather is ice. It can visibly appear anywhere or take the form of sleet and disguise itself to unsuspecting drivers on the road, causing accidents.
Stay on top of temperature changes and how they may affect you by downloading a weather app from your local stations or a trusted source. These apps will also allow you to keep an eye on traffic and the possibility of school delays or closures in the event the weather becomes impossible to drive.
The Alabama Department of Transportation has its own traffic app that you can use at https://algotraffic.com/.