Fox News Weather Center

Coldest Air in Decades Threatens to Freeze Pipes in South, East

Temperatures Monday night and Tuesday over much of the interior South and the mid-Atlantic will venture into territory that have not been felt in two decades.

The arctic blast will bring the risk of frostbite and hypothermia to those not property dressed. It will also bring the potential for dead car batteries, frozen pipes and power outages.

In some areas, moisture left behind from recent rainfall may not only cause car doors to freeze shut, but could produce patches of black ice on untreated roads and sidewalks.

Lows will be in the single digits Monday night from Little Rock, Ark., to Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia and New York City.

Temperatures in many of these locations have not been this low since the arctic outbreaks of January 1997, February 1996 and January of 1994.

Wind and other atmospheric conditions will result in RealFeel® temperatures averaging 10 to 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature. Wind chill watches and warnings were issued for 25 states Monday.

Along the I-95 mid-Atlantic corridor, the arctic air was just arriving on the scene Monday. Temperatures will feel 60 to 80 degrees lower Tuesday morning, compared to how it felt Monday morning.

During Monday morning, the Electric Emergency Reliability Council of Texas announced an Energy Emergency Alert. The measure is the first of two stages to thwart rotating power outages, by bringing online all available means to generate electricity and asking home and business owners to conserve.

While temperatures are forecast to fall short of the cold outbreak of January 2010 in Texas, the state will set record lows Tuesday morning.

Across much of the northern Plains and in part of the Midwest, RealFeel temperatures dipped to the 40- to 70-below-zero range Monday morning and forced some schools to close.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The temperature of minus 16 degrees Monday morning became the first January record low temperature of the 21st century for Chicago's O'Hare Airport."

In parts of the South and the East, some record low temperatures for the date set as far back as the 1800s will be broken Tuesday morning.

According to Agricultural Weather Expert Dale Mohler, "While there will be a frost in the northern third of the citrus groves in Florida Tuesday morning, a damaging freeze is not expected."

Just as the worst of the cold will stay north of the Florida Peninsula, it will swing south of New England.

Benchmark Lows to be Challenged From Two Decades Ago

Benchmark Low
Austin, Texas
19 degrees on Feb., 4, 1996
Nashville, Tenn.
Minus 3 degrees on Feb., 5, 1996
6 degrees on Feb. 5, 1996
Charlotte, N.C.
7 degrees on Feb. 5, 1996
Birmingham, Ala.
4 degrees on Feb. 5, 1996
Washington, D.C.
5 degrees on Feb. 5, 1996
Minus 10 degrees on Jan. 17, 2009
Minus 19 degrees on Feb. 3, 1996
Minus 32 on Feb. 2, 1996
6 degrees on Jan. 19, 1997
New York City
1 degree on Jan. 10, 2004