LAURINBURG — Scotland County residents unaccustomed to temperatures below the freezing mark should prepare to bundle up throughout the next week and especially on Tuesday — when the high will be a chilly 20 degrees.
“It is unusual,” said Gail Hartfield, a meteorologist for the National Weather Center. “We’re looking at 20 to 25 degrees below normal.”
While a cold air mass that made its way down from Canada is expected to move off shore mid Saturday, allowing for warmer temperatures this weekend, a high of 53 will be spoiled with a high chance of showers that evening.
“Things should be drying out before the really cold air moves in,” Hartfield said, making any chances of icy roads or steps slim.
Hartfield said Monday will see the arrival of an “arctic blast” that will bring temperatures down to a high of 39, when cloud cover will roll over town. Tuesday’s low will sink down to 12 degrees, followed by a high of 32 and low of 15 degrees on Wednesday.
“Just make sure to be bundled up tonight, and looking ahead to Monday night and Tuesday night,” Hartfield said, “and that pets are taken care of. Those are the most important things. Make sure pets have plenty of water and bring them inside if you can.”
Hartfield said that Fayetteville, the closest city to Laurinburg for which the weather service had archival data, saw a record low high temperature of 19 degrees on Jan. 20, 1994.
“These are definitely going to be some of the coldest nights and days that we have seen in many years,” she said.
A high of near 50 degrees should return by Thursday.
The cold front has brought snow as high as 2 feet to the Appalachian mountains, and was responsible for 13 deaths, school closures and nearly 1,900 canceled flights.